Coupeville's Class of 2012 dives into the real world

Friends and family crammed into a gymnasium Friday night to see more than 70 students of the Class of 2012 finish their education at Coupeville High School.

The light-hearted affair on an early June evening offered students a chance to recall experiences that culminated in their graduation from the small high school.

Valedictorian Nathaniel Foote in his speech noted that Coupeville residents were polite and always willing to look after the kids. He remembered when he was younger his parents received three calls from people concerned about the way Foote and his sister were crossing the street.

“That’s when we realized spies are everywhere,” Foote joked during his speech during the ceremony.

He thanked teachers for the opportunities they gave him in school and the accepting environment in Coupeville.

“It’s OK to be different and still fit in at Coupeville High School,” Foote said.

He  highlight several lessons his classmates taught him. He learned to “breathe when you’re reading out loud, especially when you’re reading a long paragraph,” “don’t say ‘dammit’ over the loudspeaker;” and “society is like a table.”

Salutatorian Tatiana Boonstra thanked her parents, who were spending their wedding anniversary attending her graduation. She described Coupeville High School as a “slightly dysfunctional family, but a family nonetheless.”

With graduation, her classmates will start down various roads, which include everything from college, serving in the armed forces or diving straight into work.

“Everyone has the path and purpose and I hope they find enjoyment in whatever they do,” Boonstra said.

“I will miss the extended family we have created,” Boonstra said. In addition to speaking, Boonstra sang “Vienna” by Billy Joel, while senior Evan Chiles played the piano.

Two teachers, Paul Mendes and Ryan Grenz, spoke during Friday’s ceremony.

Mendes remarked how slang has changed since he was in high school. Such phrases as “groovy,” “give me some skin” and “I can dig it,” have been replaced with such words as “wassup,” “that was sick,” and “aw snap.” He added that “wassup” has even been reduced to “’sup” — a triple contraction.

His favorite slang word these days is “represent,” because you always want to ask “what.” One thing he said he represents is his father. He choked up while describing his father, who recently passed away.

Mendes also recalled lessons he’s learned and taught as a soccer player and coach. Some pearls of wisdom he shared included “win with grace, lose with dignity; respect all but fear none; and winning isn’t everything, but the will to win is everything.”

Fellow teacher Ryan Grenz shared some lessons he’s learned from the Class of 2012.

“I’m going to dazzle you with your own words,” Grenz said, recalling curious questions asked of him, such as “what is infinity minus two” and “which way was I falling.”

Seventy-one students graduated from Coupeville High School Friday night.

High School Principal Sheldon Rosenkrance lauded the strong academic performance and test scores of the senior class.

He said students were awarded $1.115 million worth of scholarships. Of that amount, $84,450 came from the community.


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