Bremerton's Class of 2014 ready for the next step

A Bremerton High School senior chats on her cell phone prior to the start of this past Friday
A Bremerton High School senior chats on her cell phone prior to the start of this past Friday's commencement ceremony at Memorial Stadium.
— image credit: Kevan Moore/staff photo

In many ways, senior Ronald "Luke" Flemister stole the show at the Bremerton High School Class of 2014 graduation this past Friday at Memorial Stadium when he sang the famous Martina McBride single "Anyway."

When Flemister's voice soared through the lyrics, "You can pour your soul out singing a song you believe in, that tomorrow they'll forgot you ever sang, sing it anyway, yeah sing it anyway," it was hard to believe that those in attendance will be able to forget his performance anytime soon.

Another one of the most poignant moments from the commencement ceremony came during a moment of silence for Jessica Kehrberg, who passed away earlier this year.

"She was known for her beautiful smile and love of family," said co-valedictorian Kyle Radabah. "And she is just as much a part of the class of 2014 as you or I."

Co-valedictorian Ellie Davis later asked her classmates to promise to never forget they once were Bremerton Knights, and to never underestimate their value or what they are capable of. She used a pair of British author A.A. Milne's most famous characters to drive that request home.

"I suppose we have all heard of Christopher Robin, a young child, compassionate, caring, and wise beyond his years, who once told his best friend, Winnie the Pooh, 'Promise me you’ll always remember that you’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think,'” Davis said.

The Bremerton High School Class of 2014 included 250 on-time graduates who earned more than $2.6 in scholarship awards. In addition, nine graduates also earned associates degrees from Olympic College.

This year's graduating seniors selected art teacher Steve Priest as the keynote speaker. He reminded the graduates that it doesn't matter what they do, but how they do it. Priest encouraged the graduates to live a life of integrity and seek the truth while looking out for the "little guy" and being kind. He also told them to do something positive and not be afraid.

"What I want to share tonight is more important than diplomas, careers and future credentials," Priest said. "I'm not speaking to you as your teacher, or a school district employee. The best advice I can leave you with is from the heart of a dad, I'm a dad. Take care of the people you love. Show kindness to the undesirable. Choose a solid companion that will lift you up, not push you down. Find your faith. Love isn't an emotion it's a choice so choose to love your wives, husbands and children. Put others ahead of yourself and you will see the blessing in it."

Priest told the graduates that life will happen and they can either let it happen or take charge and fill their lives with meaning and direction.

"You only get one life on this earth, so make the best of it, enjoy it, work hard and have fun," he said.

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