Four years. Four years of homework, friendships, classrooms lectures, competitions and the inevitable hijinks. It came to a close Friday for the 64 students who graduated Coupeville High School.
High school is over for them, but they have big plans for the future.
Some will be attending universities, music schools, veterinary schools or joining the military. Others are on track to be the nurses, underwater welders, aviation mechanics, therapists and teachers of the future.
Together, they received more than $321,900 in scholarships.
The members of the class formed friendships and bonds as only small-town kids can, a theme which came up time and time again in the speeches at Friday evening’s graduation ceremony.
The Coupeville middle and high school bands welcomed the seniors to the ceremony with the traditional rendition of “Pomp and Circumstance” as the graduates entered the gymnasium though a balloon-covered arch and took their seats for the evening.
After the national anthem, the senior class president Peytin Vondrak welcomed attendees.
Salutatorian Harris Sinclair and Valedictorian Sarah Wright spoke of the values that have defined their high school careers, including hard work, determination and passion.
Senior music performances included “America the Beautiful” performed by Nikolai Lyngra on guitar and “The Chicken.”
“I’ve learned there are two kinds of people. People who return their shopping carts and those who don’t,” faculty speaker and history teacher Brad Sherman said, prompting laughs from the audience.
It’s about behaving in good character, even when no one is watching, he said. The seniors’ years were filled with long days and early mornings, and their work has paid off.
“The hard part is perseverance,” he said. But that is what determines future success, he said.
A senior slide show elicited cheers and clapping for baby pictures, candid moments and senior photo shoots.
After diplomas were handed out to every senior, the graduates turned their tassels and tossed their hats high.
For graduate Matt Stevens, the end of his high school career is a cause for celebration, but he isn’t leaving without looking back.
“I feel super good, Stevens said. “I’ll probably miss it a bit.”