83 graduate from Coupeville High School

Leah Phipps, 19, hugs Peg Fenstermaker moments after graduating with the rest of her Coupeville High School class. - Justin Burnett/Whidbey News-Times
Leah Phipps, 19, hugs Peg Fenstermaker moments after graduating with the rest of her Coupeville High School class.
— image credit: Justin Burnett/Whidbey News-Times

The Central Whidbey community swelled with pride Friday, June 11, when 83 Coupeville High School seniors collected their diplomas at the class of 2010’s commencement ceremony.

Clad in robes of black with red stoles, the triumphant class marched into the school’s gym to the thunderous applause of the hundreds of family members and friends that had gathered to witness and celebrate the momentous occasion.

For many of the students, both the entrance and the following ceremony, was an unforgettable experience.

“I don’t even know what to say,” said Megan Smith, a member of the National Honor Society. “I honestly didn’t know this day would come. I feel so good.”

Smith, 18, was a sports powerhouse, being awarded the female athlete of the year for the past three years. Her father and former Coupeville High School athletic director Willie Smith wore a smile that stretched ear to ear.

“I’m a pretty proud dad,” he said.

This fall, Megan Smith will go on to play basketball for Peninsula College in Port Angeles and study early childhood education.

According to Principal Sheldon Rosenkrance, the class of 2010 is noteworthy for its cumulative Washington Assessment of Student Learning exam results. Taken during their sophomore year, the class received top marks.

“They had the highest state scores of any class since I’ve been here; the last five years,” Rosenkrance said.

Of the 83 graduates, 20 were National Honor Society members, with six serving as officers. Twelve walked with a gold honor cord, signifying the maintenance of a 3.7 GPA or higher, while 16 donned silver honor cords, representing GPAs between 3.3 and 3.69. Another 11 wore the blue honor cord.

For many of the faculty that spoke during the commencement ceremony, the class of 2010 was special. Coupeville High School science teacher Colleen Fox credited it with being the glue that kept her in Central Whidbey after moving from the city. Initially feeling as if she didn’t fit in, the freshman class welcomed her to the community.

“Things have been different ever since,” Fox said. “You gave me a reason to stay.”

From the podium, she presented the class with one final lesson, a gift in the form of a cardboard cube with numbers written on all sides. The bottom however, she refused to show them. She said it represented life, as you can’t always see every side to a problem. While she said the class was already good at trying to solve problems, she urged them never to forget the lesson.

“My best prayers and best hopes go to the class of 2010,” Fox said.

Also speaking was Coupeville High School science teacher Guy “Doc” Whittaker, who is retiring this year after 28 years in the Coupeville School District, and senior Tyler Boonstra, who graduated with a 3.7 GPA or higher and as a National Honor Society member.

Whittaker urged the class “to take advice but always check with your heart to see if it holds true” while Boonstra talked about the transition he and his fellow classmates were about to undergo. After recalling fond memories of his fourth-grade teacher, John Luvera, which brought about knowing laughs from other graduating seniors, he said this occasion marked a turning point in their lives.

“Today, class of 2010, we graduate,” Boonstra said. “Today, class of 2010, we are adults.”

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