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Smaller area high schools also graduate seniors
MARYSVILLE — The Marysville Mountain View, Arts & Technology and Tulalip Heritage high schools all are bidding farewell to their graduating classes of 2014, starting with the students of Mountain View and the S.O.A.R. program on June 10.
Mountain View graduate speaker Joe Hoerner noted the number of obstacles that he and his classmates face on their path, including his own illnesses and depression.
“Though you’re scared, you hold on tight and enjoy the ride,” Hoerner said. “Remember, it’s not only ourselves on the roller-coaster alone, but also our families and friends, and most of all, our own strength, courage and heart.”
Hoerner urged his peers to continue to persevere in spite of their problems, so that they can share their gifts with the world.
“When you give up, you’re throwing away opportunities and a chance to shine,” Hoerner said. “Don’t let anyone tell you you’re worthless, when you have so much to offer this world.”
S.O.A.R. graduate speaker Shelbi Hatch echoed Hoerner’s praise for their teachers and other school staff. She singled out Lynn Rowley, Julianne Mach and Dana Steele-Dirk for the roles they played in helping change students’ lives.
“We don’t stop learning after we graduate,” Hatch said. “Even though it can seem scary and unknown, going into the real world, I pray that the class of 2014 stays on the road of clarity.”
Rather than thinking of their diplomas as a ticket to a better life, Hatch urged her classmates to think of it as a ticket to a better world.
Principal Dawn Bechtholdt pointed out that several students have either started their higher education already, or have taken on the additional responsibilities of full-time employment or raising families.
“We get students from everywhere, both those who have chosen us and those who have chosen for them,” Bechtholdt said. “We all have gifts inside. We just have to get at them.”
Bechtholdt sees it as her staff’s duty to find the seeds of success within their students and help them grow.
“Our staff works daily to build relationships with our students, and to figure out what makes them tick,” Bechtholdt said. “Layer by layer, we go deeper, helping them learn and grow in leadership and community.”
The students of Arts & Tech and Heritage both will receive their send-off at the Francis Sheldon Gym on June 14, and Arts & Tech valedictorian Kimia Bergeson was set to lead the speeches by asking her peers what they planned to do.
“Moving on is terrifying and exciting, but the most amazing part is, it’s completely up to us as how we fare on this adventure,” Bergeson said.
Bergeson encouraged her classmates to follow their own paths, rather than the plans that others have laid out for them.
“Go forth and concur this world as your own,” Bergeson said. “You have the ultimate freedom now, because when it comes to the end, whose happiness is it that you’ll be worried about?”
Salutatorian Sarah Hoot asserted that, while the graduating seniors had grown strong together, they would gain new strengths by going their separate ways.
“Even though our new paths will take us to colleges, the work force or maybe just a relaxing year at home, we will each try and stay in touch with those that mean the most to us,” Hoot said.
Hoot credited her peers with complementing and balancing each other out, through their diversity.
“At any other high school, you might look at the people sitting next to you and think to yourself, ‘Who is that? Do I know them? Do they even go to our school?’” Hoot said. “Here, we can probably say that we all at least know each other’s names, even if we don’t know the person personally.”
Student elected speaker Rebecca Hamilton expressed a bit of preemptive nostalgia for who she and her peers are at the moment, since they’ll never be entirely the same again.
“We will never get to be seniors in high school ever again, and each and every year of our lives we are going to grow and change even more,” she said. “But don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.”
Hamilton reassured her classmates that making mistakes as adults is part of how they’ll make progress.
“Turn your can’ts into cans and your dreams into plans, and go confidently in the direction of your dreams,” Hamilton said.