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Turning the tassel on 2013
More than 1,000 students from Silverdale and Bremerton high schools walked in graduation ceremonies at the Kitsap Fairgrounds and Bremerton’s Memorial Stadium this past weekend.
While graduation ceremonies usually follow a relatively standard process, each school and each graduating class added its own personality and its own quirks.
Here are highlights from each of the four ceremonies:
Some 169 students from Klahowya showed up at the Kitsap Fairgrounds for the class of 2013’s commencement ceremony.
Though small in numbers compared to Central Kitsap and Olympic high schools, Klahowya’s graduating class is filled with high-achieving students. Students from Klahowya’s graduating class received $3,562,743 in scholarship offers.
Seniors at Klahowya, who gathered in the Kitsap Fairgrounds Pavilion on Thursday, were the first from the Central Kitsap School District to graduate.
Class salutatorian Alyson Kreifels gave a stirring speech toward the beginning of the ceremony.
Partway through her speech she paused and asked the sign language interpreter if she might sign a portion of the speech herself. During that portion she thanked several hearing-impaired students in the crowd.
Valedictorian Sally Fletcher gave a speech of her own, drawing laugh after laugh from the graduates and audience. Fletcher talked about what it was like having her mother work in the counseling office at school.
One time, she said, her mother approached her and said she needed to talk to her about some problems she was having at school. That problem, it turned out, was cutting in the pizza line.
So Fletcher told graduates — remember the lessons of Klahowya, don’t cut in the pizza line of life.
Olympic High School
Olympic High School’s commencement ceremony featured 298 graduates at the Fairgrounds Pavilion just across the street from the school’s campus.
Principal Bob Barnes, who announced his retirement at the close of this school year, spoke at the opening of the ceremony. For Barnes, as well as the class of 2013, this was his final year at Olympic High School.
Unlike the graduates, however, Barnes has been with Olympic for more than a decade, and with the Central Kitsap School District for more than 30 years.
During her speech, Associated Student Body President Chloe Kent congratulated Barnes on his retirement and thanked him for his service.
On a less serious note, Kent told her fellow graduates that “besides learning how to use a toilet,” commencement was the first real achievement in their lives. To close she addressed graduates with a lyric from a song by the rapper Drake: “You da, you da best.”
Perhaps the highlight of the night, however, was when Olympic Vice