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Marysville-Pilchuck Class of 2010 reflects on shared educational experiences

EVERETT — The Everett Events Center was packed with the families and friends of close to 600 graduating seniors June 15, as the Marysville-Pilchuck High School Class of 2010 received their diplomas.

Pathways of Choice Principal Fred Dahlem expressed the hope that the students had gained not only valuable career skills from their education at M-PHS, but also the ability to make good choices. Using the end of "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" as an example, he urged them to take the most reasonable course of action, rather than being swayed by "glittering opportunities that may not be as good as they look."

The Class of 2010's nine valedictorians had to tag-team their speeches in order to fit them all in the evening's ceremony. Riley Taitingfong began by encouraging her classmates to cherish the memory of their graduation night as a once-in-a-lifetime experience, before Caitlin North reminded them of their first days of school.

"Those were the days that we tested how edible our glue and crayons were, and learned the alphabet and the importance of sharing," North said. "Most important of all, those were the years that laid the foundation for who we are today and what we have become."

From there, Daniel Ekdahl summed up the awkward adjustments of middle school as a time when students grew into their bodies, their new academic responsibilities and their new relationships, with each other and with the adults in their lives. Garrett Davis described high school as an environment of competition and teamwork, both in and out of school sports, while Lois Haight acknowledged her classmates' many differences, from which Small Learning Communities they attended to their backgrounds and goals.

"Together we've spent years upon years learning, succeeding and growing side by side," Haight said. "Four years have passed, and it's those four years that bring us together tonight."

Kelli Erdmann asserted that the class' journey has shaped who they've become, and that this journey will continue past their graduation, before Cosette Troxel thanked their parents and teachers for their support, and advised her peers to continue that cycle of mentorship with others.

"Whether we meant to or not, we've constantly been learning," Tejinder Randhawa said. "From the first awkward hello to this tearful goodbye, the past four years have slowly been teaching us to be individuals."

"Don’t be fooled by the misconception that somehow our lives begin the moment state law says we don't have to go to school anymore." Mikayla LaRosa said. "We've been living all along."

"It is with the utmost pride and joy that we should look back on the times we've shared which have brought us here today," Taitingfong said, concluding the valedictorian speeches. "It is with no regret or doubt that we must look to the future, and the only time we should look back is to remember one another."

Shane Price delivered the class reflection speech before Ekdahl returned to the podium to present the class president speech. Price praised his peers for their accomplishments and the obstacles they've overcome, as well as for their spirit of selflessness, before Ekdahl offered tongue-in-cheek comments about the class' potential.

"Statistically, there's no way that all 600 of us can become president of the United States, so our parents were lying to us when when they told us that we could," Ekdahl said, drawing laughter from the audience. "Still, by lying to us, they raised us to expect more from ourselves, so they're not bad people after all. It taught us that hard work and dedication will be met with success."

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