Members of the Newcomerstown High School Class of 2017 will soon be graduating, and moving onto bigger, and brighter future endeavors. Meanwhile, plans for the class's baccalaureate and commencement are in progress. The baccalaureate service traditionally has been held prior to the senior class's commencement for many years at Newcomerstown. During a several year span, the baccalaureate service had fallen out of favor, and was later incorporated into the commencement service, no longer being a prominent event as it once had been. Several years ago, members of the stewardship committee at St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church, Newcomerstown, had discussed their concern that the baccalaureate service seemed to be less important, and the concept of a baccalaureate service appeared diminished to the community in general. It was later agreed among the committee that the baccalaureate needed to be revived, and the event and its' original concept made prominent once again.

On Sunday, May 21, 2017 at 2:00p this year's senior class members will once again have a chance to participate in the baccalaureate service, and make memories of their high school graduation. The service will take place at St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church, Newcomerstown. This year's Newcomerstown HS alumni speaker is Michael A. Wise, a 1973 graduate of Newcomerstown High School. Wise was a member of the Newcomerstown Trojans Marching Band, the High School Choir, and the thespians. During his high school years he directed the Pep Band, and organized a drama club for the Newcomerstown Middle School. During his senior year, he directed the class play, Send Me No Flowers. He also briefly directed the Trojans marching band when the instructor was on medical leave.

Wise left Newcomerstown in the summer of 1973, joining the U.S. Marine Corps as a professional musician, playing first trumpet. He was later promoted to band music librarian. Wise was later released from active duty in August, 1977.

Wise was later employed in human resources, and worked with a staffing office for a law firm, then later for a computer technology school, residing in Washington, DC. He later was employed for a group of private owned hotels in the DC area. He also was a co-founder, and manager for a popular art gallery in New Orleans for several years.

In June, 2014 Wise returned to his hometown, Newcomerstown, quickly becoming involved in several community projects. He was recently employed with the Newcomerstown News as the editor. He has just recently accepted a position with the Village of Newcomerstown as manager for the Cy Young Park pool. He has also been involved with the Newcomerstown HS thespians, and just finished directing, You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown.

Wise, a very community oriented citizen, has some future plans for the promotion of local arts and entertainment here in Newcomerstown, and for Tuscarawas County.