Grey Rische gets a hug following the commencement ceremony for Coupeville High School’s Class of 2017 Friday night, June 9, 2017. Photo by Ron Newberry/Whidbey News-Times

Grey Rische gets a hug following the commencement ceremony for Coupeville High School’s Class of 2017 Friday night, June 9, 2017. Photo by Ron Newberry/Whidbey News-Times

Salute to Coupeville’s Class of 2017

Clay Reilly gave so many hugs after the graduation ceremony at Coupeville High School last Friday night that he was all hugged out.

He found it hard to believe that his scholastic journey in Coupeville since preschool was over. Skagit Valley College in Mount Vernon is next.

“I’ve met so many great people. So many great mentors helped me grow up to the young man that I am now,” said Reilly, who plans to continue on to Washington State University and enroll in the Naval ROTC program. “I couldn’t thank them enough.”

Reilly is one of 71 members from Coupeville’s Class of 2017.

He said about 14 of his classmates have attended school together since kindergarten. Inside the gym Friday night, they started new paths in their lives.

“It was emotional,” Reilly said. “I had to hold back a lot of tears. Now that it’s over, I’m just going to let it out sometime soon.”

Kiara Burdge and Allyson Roberts sang the national anthem, followed by addresses given by class president JaeLynn LeVine, salutatorian Nick Dion and valedictorian Lainey Dickson and a musical performance by classmates Desirae Bradley, Alexxis Otto and Mitchell Carroll.

“Everyone in this class is so close,” Joseph Wedekind said. “I moved to Coupeville in my middle school years and they just took me in. It’s been fun ever since.”

“Pretty crazy” was how Jacob Martin described Coupeville’s Class of 2017. He came to Coupeville in the ninth grade.

“When I first got here, they just kind of all adopted me,” Martin said. “We’re all one big family. I love everyone in my class.”

Fanny Deprelle only spent one school year in Coupeville. She is an exchange student from Belgium.

“Here, it was just amazing because graduation in Belgium was completely different. It was so emotional,” she said. “I love everyone.”

High school English teacher Sandra Moore graduated, too.

She was the faculty speaker during the ceremony. She is retiring after 36 years as an educator, 30 of them in Coupeville.

She won’t have to worry about Sept. 5 — the first day of the school this fall.

“It’s kind of scary,” Moore said. “It reminds me very much of when I was graduated from high school and it dawned on me … ‘Uh oh. Now what?’ Because nobody’s going to tell me what to do anymore. It sort of feels like that way in retirement, too. There’s freedom that I’ve never had before.”

Away from her responsibilities as an English teacher, there will be more freedom than she could’ve ever imagined.

“What I’ve told people is, ‘I want to see what Coupeville looks like between September and June because I’ve been grading papers for 30 years,’” she said.

“I love teenagers. I think that’s going to be the thing that I miss the most. I like them because they always do something unexpected and say something unexpected and they make me smile.”

Robin Cedillo, right, gets ready to step up and receive her diploma during the commencement ceremony for Coupeville High School’s Class of 2017 Friday night, June 9, 2017. Emily Rose is in the background. Photo by Ron Newberry/Whidbey News-Times

Robin Cedillo, right, gets ready to step up and receive her diploma during the commencement ceremony for Coupeville High School’s Class of 2017 Friday night, June 9, 2017. Emily Rose is in the background. Photo by Ron Newberry/Whidbey News-Times

More in News

Lt. j.g. William McIlvaine, left, celebrates after graduating from flight school. He was killed in a training accident in March 2013. His uncle, Phelps McIlvaine, donated a monument to Oak Harbor in honor of all service members who died while serving in Prowler squadrons. Photo courtesy Phelps McIlvaine
Prowler aircraft monument still in works years later

The Oak Harbor Park Board learned the donated monument will probably be installed this year.

Woman sues Uber over injury suffered in 2018

The woman is suing the car-for-hire company over an injury that occurred in Oak Harbor in 2018.

Legislature opens with call for cooperation on COVID-19 relief

The state legislature launched its virtual session this week.

Low-cost crab pots available at fundraiser Jan. 17

The Deception Pass Sail and Power Squadron is offering crab pots with… Continue reading

Oak Harbor council decides on marina environmental restoration plan

The boat ramp will be getting a makeover, but no pocket beach is planned for Catalina Park.

The Tokitae ferry pulls into the new Mukilteo ferry terminal Thursday afternoon. Photo by Kira Erickson/Whidbey News Group
State ferries ridership reaches a 50-year low

Total ridership in 2020 was about 14 million, or 41 percent, less than the 10 million in 2019.

A tree on Highway 20 on the north side of the Deception Pass bridge held up traffic until it could be cleared early on Wednesday, Jan. 13. Photo by China Hageman
Windstorm wreaks havoc across island

Power was knocked out to thousands of customers in the first big storm of the year.

State health officer temporarily helping county

Dr. Lindquist has been serving on an emergency basis since Dec. 31 and will continue until Jan. 20.

Firefighter Jeff Rhodes (left), Firefighter Keith Dawson (center, back), Acting Lieutenant Alex Majestic (right) practice a CPR response without the LUCAS 3 Chest Compression System the agency wants to buy. Photo by Emily Gilbert/Whidbey News-Times
District turns to crowdfunding for CPR tool

Central Whidbey Island Fire and Rescue is looking to raise $18,580 to buy a CPR tool.

Most Read