Editorial: Good luck, and thanks a lot

A community is always proud when another class graduates from its high school, but for the Class of 2007 at Oak Harbor High School, we feel pride and something else: gratitude.

The Class of 2007 was clearly exceptional, culminating in a truly outstanding senior year. The key accomplishment, one that will be remembered as long as there is an Oak Harbor High School, is the Class 4A high school state football championship. It was a first such title for any school of any size on Whidbey Island, and as such it was a season for the ages.

It wasn’t just gridiron glory. Coach Dave Ward’s 2007 football team brought the community together, starting with a series of playoff runs when they were underclassmen. Suddenly, Oak Harbor was on the map. Hundreds of new fans were created and they learned the sorry status of old War Memorial Stadium. The town was abuzz about the Wildcats’ successes; there was renewed pride in the high school. Without a doubt, the Class of 2007 played a major role in the successes of several school improvement proposals, especially the high school remodel bond and the high school stadium bond. These passed in part because of the positive vibes emanating from the high school.

And it wasn’t just the football team. The dedicated Wildcat TV staff brought high school sports, arts and academic achievements to households throughout the community. The cheerleaders of 2007 took third in the nation after finishing first the prior year. The culinary, choir, wind ensemble, DECA and automotive teams excelled in state and sometimes national competition.

Academically, Oak Harbor High School produced National Merit finalists, U.S. military academy appointees, and a host of individual scholarship winners.

Out of the limelight, Class of 2007 members were active in church youth groups, tutoring programs for younger students, and many other community service enterprises.

Their successes are a testament to their parents, their teachers, and their dedication to individual goals. Grumpy older people often criticize the younger generation, but the Oak Harbor High School Class of 2007 proved that they’re among the best and brightest ever produced by this community.

In the future, their contributions to society will be invaluable.

The Class of 2007 graduates next Monday night. All we can say is good luck in the future and thanks for the great memories. We’re proud of each and every one of you.