Marysville Getchell celebrates graduates | SLIDESHOW

EVERETT — The four Small Learning Communities of Marysville Getchell High School marked their first commencement ceremony independent of Marysville-Pilchuck High School on Wednesday, June 13, as the Everett Community College Fitness Center hosted graduating seniors from Marysville Getchell for the first time that evening.

The MGHS Class of 2012 was heralded by a host of speakers, including not only valedictorians and senior class officers from each of the four SLCs, but also reflection speeches by two SLC principals, one of whom will not be returning to the school in the fall.

Academy of Construction and Engineering Valedictorian J.D. Talamayan has already learned the importance of connections as a full-time Running Start student during high school.

“Staying connected has helped me get to where I am today, and in the future it will help as well,” Talamayan said. “After graduation, while you are getting a job or attending college or doing whatever else you choose to do, make as many connections as possible. You never know how the connections you make will resurface in your life.”

Bio-Med Academy Valedictorian Celeste Bryant believes that the life lessons provided by the high school experience are at least as essential as its academics.

“After graduation we will be able to take our new-found creativity and courage and apply it to finding our special place in the world,” Bryant said. “We have learned to be honest with ourselves, to ask questions and to not fear the consequences of telling people that, after 12 years of school, we still have no idea what we want to do with our lives. This self-respect and fearlessness in speaking our minds did not exist that first day of high school so many years ago.”

International School of Communications Valedictorian Kali Burnside touted not only the growing that she and her peers have done during high school, but also the diversity of skills they’ve gained from it, which she urged her fellow graduating seniors to apply to their adult lives in an exceptional fashion.

“Let’s go into this world with an attitude aimed toward achievement,” Burnside said. “Let’s make ourselves known for our accomplishments. One day, we can look back and think, ‘Boy, high school wasn’t my glory days, because [the days I’m living now] are the days that I will remember, and the ones that deserve recognition.’”

School For the Entrepreneur Valedictorian Chris Rasmussen read a poem he’d composed in honor of the occasion, whose call to action echoed those of his fellow speakers.

“While we were once a part of ACE or SFE or Bio-Med or ISC, now we have the opportunity — the opportunity to create, the opportunity to connect, the opportunity to leave our school with a lasting effect,” Rasmussen said. “But it starts with you, and it starts with me, so lets take what we’ve learned through these past four years, and seize our opportunities.”

SFE Principal Dave Rose credited the leadership of the MGHS Class of 2012 with coordinating “the first commencement ceremony that doesn’t involve any red,” as well as with starting several school traditions that he expects will grow with classes to come.

“In school, you learn in order to take a test, but in life, you take a test in order to learn,” Rose said. “I have seen many of you in class. You study and take that test trying to earn the best grade you can. But now, after tonight, you will be testing yourselves and learning from those tests. This is called ‘life.’ So I challenge you, from this day forward, to test yourselves, put it on the line, and discover what you are really made of. You never know until you try.”

Bio-Med Academy Principal Judith Murdock is retiring this year after nearly 50 years in education, the last three years of which have been spent at Bio-Med. She praised the graduating seniors of all four SLCs for choosing their own courses toward adult careers and connecting with the community outside of Marysville Getchell High School.

“We all have relationships at the center of our schools,” Murdock said. “We are four small schools and one campus graduating tonight.”


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