'There are no words' to describe graduation

"Long school projects, triumphant sports victories and crushes that left hearts broken.All that and more was held in reverence as Central Kitsap High School sent its class of 2000 off into the real world Thursday at the Kitsap Pavilion.Relish in the satisfaction of completing this, graduating senior Peter Lang told his classmates. Know you'll never forget this moment.The second act in the Central Kitsap School District's graduation trilogy started off as any other, but drama teacher Debbie Rice, who has been teaching for 33 years, said the excitement of graduation day has never dulled.No matter how cool these kids are and no matter how much they talk down the ceremony, this is a big deal to them, Rice said, surveying the seniors assembled before the ceremony began. Look at them, they are loving every minute of this.The stories never get dull, either. Like Tracie Miller, graduated one year early and was known by her classmates as the firefighter. She is on her way to becoming a paramedic.I would thank my parents for keeping up with me, she said.Or the story of Walter and Carol Hanson, who watched their sixth and youngest son Seth graduate.This is just as important as the first one, Carol said. He's a good boy.After the ceremonial speeches and awards, the true joy came as each student got their time in the light and their names were read to the assembled masses.I was excited and nervous and ... I don't know, Jerry Hsieh said. There are no words to describe it.After the ceremony, students were mobbed by lines of adoring family and friends who yelled their names, reached for them and asked for pictures.I'm happy to be finished, Rory Sanders said. It shows that all your hard work pays off.Each student left the pavilion and went into the world in their own way. Some waved to an entourage of friends while others ran into the arms of their parents. Some clutched their escort's arm as they exited while others walked reflectively alone. But whatever distinguished these students from each other throughout high school and graduation disappeared as the smiles on their faces told a common storyThey had done it."

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