Arts & Tech Class of 2010 looks back on transitions

TULALIP — The Marysville Arts and Technology High School Class of 2010 reflected on changes in class sizes, moves to different school buildings and experiments in schedules during their June 12 graduation ceremony at the Marysville Secondary Campus.

Class Advisor Lara Carlson admitted that she'd only been part of the class' history for its final school year, but nonetheless reminded the graduating seniors of how their school had begun with less than 150 students, school plays in the cafeteria and the school parking lot serving as their football field. Their sophomore year saw them adjust to a new campus, a new gymnasium and a trimester schedule, while their junior year class periods alternated day-to-day and their senior year included the start of their first school sporting team, for bowling.

"You've received a million-dollar education," Carlson said. "Your goals are always within your grasp, so dream big."

Class President Sarah Wirtz deemed this the most rewarding year of her high school career and congratulated her classmates on their achievements.

"We're pretty legit," Wirtz laughed. "We're taken everything that was thrown at us and made it our own. We've exceeded the expectations of our teachers and ourselves. We've grown and changed in ways we never thought we could. We came, saw and conquered high school, no doubt about it."

Fellow graduating senior Alexandra Wilson acknowledged her status as "the girl who cried on the first day of kindergarten," as well as "the awkward days of puberty" in middle school.

"There were the school dances where no one did, and drama, drama, drama," Wilson said. "We've grown up so much, and are at home in our own skin."

Arts and Technology High School Principal Terri Kaltenbach could not attend her students' graduation, since her son's graduation was that same day, but Tulalip Heritage High School Principal Frank Redmon read the speech she'd written for them.

"You are kind, caring and collaborative," Kaltenbach wrote. "You work to be inclusive. Half of your class volunteers in the community. As seniors, you took care of each other. You are talented, creative, funny and spontaneous. This graduation is a true milestone, but it's not an ending."

Paul LaGrange delivered the faculty address, in which he referenced Rudyard Kipling's "If," the poem that Kipling wrote to serve as the commencement speech for his son's graduation in 1917. LaGrange "borrowed" the poem's sentiment of encouraging students to explore possibilities.

"Be an active member of your community," LaGrange said. "Stand up firmly for what you believe. Be content with who you are, but work toward self-improvement. If you can help but one life move forward, you can say that you've lived a life of no regret. May you always live in interesting times."

Salutatorian and ASB Class President Zach Pontrantolfi teased LaGrange about his address in his own speech, before noting more seriously that he and his classmates were graduating because of the decisions they'd made leading up to that point.

"Making one decision differently could have changed the entire course of your life," Pontrantolfi said. "The future is not written yet. It's never too late to make your life better."

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