Mountain View High School, Grace Academy classes of 2009 graduate

MARYSVILLE — Their class sizes might not have been as big as that of Marysville-Pilchuck High School, but the 2009 graduating classes of Marysville Mountain View High School and Grace Academy achieved no less in order to obtain their diplomas.

Marysville Mountain View High School

At the Mountain View High School graduation and awards night, June 9 at Cedarcrest Middle School, Mountain View Principal Dawn Bechtholdt noted that some of her seniors were unable to attend that evening's ceremony, since they're still working daily to complete the requirements necessary to earn their high school diplomas, either by the end of this school year or over the course of this summer. She emphasized the importance of acknowledging all these seniors as representatives of this year's graduating class.

Bechtholdt explained that, unlike many other schools' senior classes, Mountain View's senior class represented the classes of 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009, with some seniors who have attended as many as four different schools in the past four years. Even though this senior class included some students who have only attended Mountain View for a single semester, and others who might have attended more than one senior year at Mountain View, Bechtholdt presented them as a graduating class "unified and bonded together forever from this moment forward."

Bechtholdt thanked the family and friends in attendance for helping the seniors graduate, adding that "it takes a village," before she summarized the graduates' current lives and future plans.

"Today, they are mothers, wives, future recruits, hostesses, collection officers, box-boys, tellers, waiters and waitresses, secretaries, delivery drivers, warehouse people, youth leaders, customer service agents, fast food workers and survivors," Bechtholdt said. "Tomorrow, their paths will lead them to become photographers, an EMT, a dental hygienist, pharmacy and x-ray technicians, missionaries, neurosurgeons, aviation and auto mechanics, teachers, daycare workers, nurses, a Marine, an Air Force woman, a sound programmer, a cosmetologist, an entrepreneur, an electrician, moms and dads, husbands and wives, and again, survivors."

Bechtholdt pointed out that, unlike many high school seniors, the Mountain View graduating class of 2009 already knows the challenges of living on their own and supporting themselves, since they do that now. Bechtholdt recalled one senior maintaining a full-time graveyard shift of 11 p.m. to 7:45 a.m. while attending school, and she praised other seniors for successfully balancing their school work with raising children of their own.

One seat on stage was left open for Myka Campbell, a classmate of the Mountain View seniors, who was killed in a vehicle accident in May of last year, the day before her last day of classes. Bechtholdt cited Campbell as a source of inspiration for the seniors, whom she believes were able to make it through many tough moments out of a desire to honor Campbell's memory.

Mountain View graduate speakers Cherise McGowan and Philip Klein both spoke of the challenges that they and their classmates have faced and overcome, on their way toward graduation. McGowan noted that some students struggled with the responsibilities of motherhood and fatherhood, and others with addictions, as she credited her own success to her parents, her peers and the school staff, as well as her Christian faith and her refusal to give up. Klein lauded Mountain View for having some of "the nicest teachers and most talented students," both of whom he credited with yielding successes from the school's approach of individually chosen research topics, conducted on independent timelines.

"At other schools, it was easy to give up, and become another number who fell through the cracks," Klein said. "Here, we could flourish. This is not an end, but a preparation for the rest of our lives."

Grace Academy

The Grace Academy graduating class of 2009 chose Isaiah 6:8 — "Whom shall I send? Who will go for us? Here am I. Send me." — as their Bible verse, and according to class advisor Patty Frisk, it was the perfect verse for their graduating class.

"This group was known for reaching down to the lower grades for the purpose of discipleship and encouragement," Frisk said. "They were not an exclusive group, but instead were always reaching out to others selflessly."

Yearbook advisor Joan Dabrowski echoed these sentiments, describing the Grace Academy graduating class of 2009 as one marked by its students' love for their school and loyalty to one another. According to Dabrowski, the students frequently described themselves as "all best friends" and a group in which "no one is ever left out."

Dabrowski explained that the 18 graduating seniors have a variety of skills and interests, although fully half the class is considering the further pursuit of music, with their classmates demonstrating talent in writing and art, and including "a few preachers in the making," making them an eclectic group.

"This class will be greatly missed by staff and students alike," Dabrowski said. "They have definitely made their mark in the history of Grace Academy as students who are eager to grow in the Lord and serve him with their lives."

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