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Senior Trojans bid farewell

Olympic High School seniors make their way into the Kitsap Fairgrounds
Olympic High School seniors make their way into the Kitsap Fairgrounds' Pavilion for graduation Saturday.
— image credit: Photo by Jesse Beals

When it came time for Olympic High's graduating seniors to wish their school a fond farewell, Class of 2008 Co-Valedictorian Cody Raysinger said it best.

"Today we mark a new beginning, a new segment in our lives," he said to his classmates.

Raysinger's words registered with 326 Trojans who graduated Saturday in the Pavilion at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds.

Associate Student Body (ASB) President Quinn Russell welcomed family, friends, faculty and classmates with an introductory speech, while Raysinger and fellow valedictorian Justin DeLeon offered the OHS Class of 2008 a bit of advice.

"Don't foresee your future, go enable it," Raysinger said. "Do what you love. Do what makes you happy."

"Let's go on a living spree ..." DeLeon added, borrowing the words of singer Kanye West, "they say the best things in life are free."

Principal Robert Barnes then presented a handful of senior honors, including the salutatorians, outstanding seniors and citizenship awards.

Matthew Dreaney was named Outstanding Senior and a salutatorian, while Anella DeDios and Timothy Rice received citizenship awards as voted by OHS faculty and staff. Arturo Urquieta also earned salutatorian honors.

"They are true scholars and outstanding citizens," Barnes said of the honorees, explaining how each exemplified the school's six principles — respect, cooperation, safety, integrity, responsibility and learning.

Barnes also complimented the entire class, calling the 2008 school year "interesting and challenging."

"You are our future and we're in good hands," he said.

With new WASL requirements and the culminating senior project, among others, Barnes said this year's class overcame a few extra hurdles to graduate.

"I believe that challenges and change help us," he said. "How we respond to these is what really matters."

That response begins today as each grad prepares for a new chapter, whether it be college, work or time off.

"It's the start of a new life," said Lucas Kogut, who will attend Central Florida University in the fall.

Kogut hopes to walk on to the CFU wrestling team and study medicine.

Other Oly grads will remain near Kitsap County, attending the University of Washington or Olympic College, while some will leave the state to take on college life at schools such as Oklahoma State University and St. Martin's University. Others will join the U.S. Marine Corp. while some just aren't sure where the next step will lead.

"I've known some of these kids since kindergarten," Kogut said. "I hope they all have a great life."

A smiling Kogut praised his ’08 companions, certain of how he'll remember his classmates,

"Best Class ever," he said.

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