Even after school let out last week, the Bace siblings still had some homework left to do.
"We recently just finished writing our speeches,” said Brianna Bace, the 2019 salutatorian of Northville High School. John, her brother, is this year’s valedictorian, so both had to prepare speeches for Friday night’s graduation ceremony.
Like the siblings have been doing for the last 13 years with school-related activities, they helped each other out.
"We brainstormed together,” Brianna said. Then, after writing the speeches, they read each other’s through and gave pointers.
Brianna and John are close in terms of age — Brianna is older by 11 months — and grade point average.
"It [was] always very close. Our averages were both 98 and there was a difference of a couple tenths of a point for our final averages,” Brianna said.
Throughout their years of school, they tried not to be too intense about their grades.
“There was definitely friendly competition. I was never mad and he was never mad if one of us scored higher than the other," Brianna said.
They both credit their mom, Jennifer Kuhn-Bace, for their scholastic success.
"It's just been my mom since we were 5 because my father passed away. She was a real motivator,” Brianna said.
Kuhn-Bace started educating John and Brianna well before they even entered kindergarten, said Brianna, so they both came into school with a strong foundation.
"She always said try your best, work hard and you really will have fun. Once that sunk in, we enjoyed ourselves in school," Brianna said.
They also played sports, including soccer, basketball, track and softball, and were involved in the school’s music program and a handful of clubs. Being involved in so many programs and activities made it difficult at times to balance their schedules, but they learned a lot about time management, said Brianna.
The two are sticking close to home and to one another in the fall when they head off to college.
"We're going to two different colleges but I'm actually only like four minutes away," Brianna said.
She’s heading to SUNY Albany and John is headed to SUNY Polytechnic Institute’s Colleges of Nanoscale Science and Engineering.
John's choice is more of a hands-on college than most and his studies will be completely focused on nanoscience.
“It’s going to be pretty different but I’m excited for it,” John said.
"He was always the math and science guy and I was the English and social studies one,” Brianna said.
She’ll be studying political science on the pre-law track at the honors college.
"I've always loved the idea that you have to research and use history to make your case. I like helping people too, so that was a big draw," Brianna said.
They’re both used to small class sizes; there are 29 students in the Northville High School class of 2019. However, they’re looking forward to exploring new campuses and meeting new people.
"There are a couple of nerves but I'm mostly excited because it's going to be different. I'm going into the honors college so I will be surrounded by the same couple of kids. So there is that sense of small school," Brianna said, adding, "I'm excited to maybe not know every single thing about every single person.”
Before they head off to college, they’ll have to deliver their speeches at the graduation ceremony. John plans to speak about the impact of time and Brianna plans to talk about the importance of finding one’s passion. Not too bad for a final homework assignment.