Mvilles Art & Tech sends off largest class ever

TULALIP Marysville Art & Technology High School graduated a bumper crop of 49 new citizens during commencement ceremonies at the Tulalip Amphitheater
June 7.
The second graduating class for the Marysville School Districts newest high school, this years class was three times larger than the
14 students who got their sheepskins during last years inaugural graduation, but the students wearing their mortarboards this year were the first group who spent all four of their high school years at A&T.
We were there when hallway traffic didnt exist, said co-valedictorian and senior class president Erin Fryberg, who recalled the intimate atmosphere of the A&T campus where everybody knew each others name and nobody in town had heard of the optional program.
Since then A&T students have established their place with high WASL scores, academic standards and dedicated humanitarianism through community service projects.
Weve left a lasting impression of our willingness and our desire to work our way through life, Fryberg told the hundreds of family members sitting under the twilight sky.
Fryberg read a poem she wrote before choking up as she thought of leaving school and no longer seeing the familiar faces in front of her. Her fellow Penguins have shown their strengths to each other and now need to show the world, she said.
Im so unbelievably proud of all you guys, Fryberg said between sniffles.
Senior Brian Cian stressed the challenges students faced of creating a new school from whole cloth as he recalled facing the buildings bare walls four years ago. The blank slate meant A&T students had the rare opportunity to create their own symbols and traditions.
All of us are walking legacies tonight, Cian said.
Co-valedictorian Klayton Schaufler congratulated his peers on spending 4,300 hours in school over the years.
I wish the freshmen were here to hear that, Schaufler said wryly. These years, they didnt just fly by.
Principal Frank Redmon said his students were like popcorn ready to burst upon the world, they were brimming with chemical, electrical and elastic energy.
You have an electricity about you that excites and inspires, Redmon said.
Teacher Michelle Liburdy said the school was often like the Land of Oz and that she played all the characters sometimes helping seniors across the finish line, threatening them with flying monkeys at times. But as the senior walked off into the sunset to the strains of Somewhere Over the Rainbow, Liburdy said she felt a little bit like the Tin Man.
The second group of Penguins showed some cheek as they all shook hands with Redmon as he handed them their diplomas. Everyone of them palmed an autographed golf ball for their leader, who was cheerfully baffled as he searched for a cache for his stash.
Maybe its because they know thats how many it takes me to finish a round, Redmon laughed afterwards.
It was just something we came up with, Fryberg explained as she horsed around with family after the tassels were turned. We wanted to see what he would do, if he would try to shove them in his pocket of whatever.
He wasnt phased a bit, instead Redmon lauded his new grads for their community involvement, as every A&T senior project required some community service, whether tutoring younger students, volunteering at a local food bank or collecting books for elementary schools in the district.
They gave back to their community in many ways, Redmon said.
A&T will only grow as it moves to new quarters next fall in a shared campus on the Tulalip Reservation. Currently there are about 230 students at the school and that could grow to about 400 students, over four grades. Next years graduating class could be about 70 seniors, according to a school spokeswoman.

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