Oympic High graduates told: teachers open the door and you walk through

Amidst “Pomp and Circumstance” — both the traditional melody by Elgar and the atmosphere surrounding the event — 350 OHS grads were unleashed into the world, June 15, at the Kitsap Pavilion.

Olympic High School’s commencement exercises went off without a hitch.

“I feel like it was just yesterday we were sophomores wondering where in the world we would end up,” said ASB President Shawn LeBoeuf at the podium. “And now here we are.”

LeBoeuf spoke on the school’s motto, a quote from Booker T. Washington: “Success is measured not by the position one has reached, but by the obstacles one overcomes while trying to succeed.”

He finished up by telling the grads “My wish for you is happiness ... so spread your wings and fly.”

Haley Shapley, class of 2002 salutatorian, started out with a quote by William Jennings Bryan: “Destiny is not a matter of chance but of choice.”

Then she said, “To all the parents, aunts, uncles, relatives and friends here — my thanks for a job well done.”

She then thanked the teachers.

“You are often not given enough appreciation and respect,” she said. “A Chinese proverb says ‘the teacher opens the door, the student walks through.’”

“There are 350 students in this class,” she said, finally speaking directly to the grads. “Each unique and varied. Whether you go into college, the military or straight to work — not everyone is called to the same goal.

“High school gave us all the greatest gift — to take chances and make mistakes,” she said. “Now it’s our turn to make decisions for ourselves. When you step out into the unknown, be assured there will be something to step on, or you’ll grow wings.”

Valedictorian Laura Cervinsky elicited a cheer when she said, “I would like to congratulate us — we made it!”

“I remember the recesses in elementary school that never lasted long enough, the fights, the jokes that went too far ... bad or good, it’s these memories that make us what we are.

“Whatever you choose to do with your life, do it with passion,” she said. “Live each day as if it is your last.”

The program was then punctuated by a rendition of “In My Life” by the Beatles, as arranged by Roger Emerson and sung by students.

Principal Robert Barnes and vice-principal Richard Arena awarded special honors and scholarships, and Barnes officially “presented” the class. Superintendent Catherine Davidson officially “accepted” the class as having completed their work and earned their freedom. The diplomas were distributed by members of the CK School Board.

Eighty-six seniors received special recognition and scholarships.

The recessional, “Olympic Spirit,” which brought graduation to a close, was performed by the OHS Band. The grads threw carnations in the air in a riotous celebratory cheer.

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