Coupeville seniors move on

Coupeville High School Class of 2006 earned more than $1 million in scholarships and had six valedictorians.

There were also five students who were the first in their families to earn a high school diploma.

They were some of the 79 seniors who graduated Friday night during a ceremony at the high school gymnasium that featured speeches by each valedictorian and the national anthem performed by graduate Bryan Sherman playing an electric guitar. Later, graduate Christopher Hutchinson performed a drum solo.

Each of the six valedictorians graduated with a 4.0 grade point average and spoke in front of a packed house of friends, family, teachers and administrators.

Tyler Harvey touched upon making the world a better place.

“The world is a horribly unbalanced place today,” Harvey said, encouraging his classmates to fight poverty in the world.

Fellow valedictorian Rebecca Olson compared the seniors’ efforts to achieve their goals with the coyote’s cartoonish attempts to catch the Road Runner.

“It’s not important if you fail but what you do after you fail,” Olson said. “Go out there Class of 2006 and catch that Road Runner.”

Micah Johnson encouraged people to question what they learned and salutatorian Elizabeth Mouw read a Bible verse from I Corinthians and reminded people the importance of love in people’s lives. She said she was tempted to lead the audience in, “What the World Needs Now is Love, Sweet Love,” but she refrained.

Ben Brown read a poem he wrote, “Stratosphere,” and talked the seniors heading into the future while Brendan Roof hoped, despite the different paths each classmate will take, everybody will get together again.

“This part of our lives is just the beginning of our stories, not its entirety,” Roof said.

With many students only attending Coupeville schools, Michael Bagby talked about important lessons learned over the past 12 years. Those lessons included the importance of true friendship, that wearing a Power Rangers uniform while playing soccer isn’t okay, and never to skateboard in the shower.

Teacher Mark Gale was chosen to speak during the ceremony. He advocated for public education, world peace and social justice. He also wanted to see an end of an oil-based economy and the end of animal abuse.

“I believe there is solace in taking a stand of consciousness,” Gale said.

He added that he’s tired of polls influencing decision making, poor voter turnout and the attitude of the country since the Sept. 11 attacks.

“Since 9/11, we’ve become a nation of fear and not a nation of hope,” Gale said. He received a standing ovation from graduates.

Nearly 80 seniors graduated Friday afternoon, which is the same number that started at the beginning of the school year. Of that number, 35 are attending four-year schools, 25 are attending community colleges, four are attending technical colleges, four are enlisting in the military, 12 are working and two are undecided but leaning toward college.

“This group of students are some of the finest I’ve ever been around,” said Principal Sheldon Rosenkrance.

With their graduation complete, many are taking steps to prepare for the next stage of their lives whether it be college or working.

Senior Cassandra Dohner plans to work full time and hopes to eventually study herpetology and zoology.

Reanna Johnson hopes to attend a police academy in Oregon and go into law enforcement.

Josh Itotani is heading on a two-year mission trip to Japan.

Each graduate has a different dream, and now they’re off to make it come true.

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