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Class of 2013 shares spotlight at 101st FHHS graduation

Friday Harbor High School Class of 2013 graduates Ryan Allen and Jean Melborne stroll through an enthusiastic crowd at the outset of the school’s 101st commencement ceremony, Saturday, at Turnbull Gym. - Journal photo / Scott Rasmussen
Friday Harbor High School Class of 2013 graduates Ryan Allen and Jean Melborne stroll through an enthusiastic crowd at the outset of the school’s 101st commencement ceremony, Saturday, at Turnbull Gym.
— image credit: Journal photo / Scott Rasmussen

Much can be said about the many accomplishments of Friday Harbor High School’s Class of 2013.

But in the glare of Saturday’s graduation in Turnbull Gym, and under the spotlight of Friday Harbor High School’s 101st commencement ceremony, one quality shined above the rest. These young adults, on the doorstep of the next stage in life, are ready, willing and able to give credit to those whom they feel that credit is due.

“In case you weren’t aware, it’s because of you,” Aaron Prager said in signaling out the many parents, teachers, school officials, family, friends and various supporters crowded into the gymnasium for the recent recognition of Friday Harbor High School as the fifth-best ranked high school in Washington state.

In introducing to the assembly the newly minted 63 graduates of Friday Harbor 101st graduating class, Prager also noted that it’s been the support offered by those in the crowd over the years, both in good times and bad, that became building blocks for the knowledge, determination and resiliency that members of Class of 2013 will rely upon as they become the chemists, surgeons, nurses, lawyers, entrepreneurs, fishermen, teachers, economists, athletes, journalists, politicians (the list goes on) that they will become.

Still, supporters of the class were not yet done.

In total, the Class of 2013 received from various community and civic organizations roughly 120 scholarships, amounting to $328,000 in support of continuing education (the total includes the value of renewable scholarships as well).Gislason graduates

Following in Prager’s footsteps, class Salutatorian Brett Paul paid homage to the love and support showered on the class over the years with a brief, yet compelling story that highlighted the dedication that his mother, Kathy, displayed to ensure that her son was getting the most out of his 6th grade math class. Few will soon forget the story of, “The Day that Kathy Paul Came to Class”.

In keeping with the spirit, Co-Valedictorian Michael Barsamian praised high school counselor Gordy Waite for his unwavering help and support in helping to guide he and other members of the class through the process of preparing for college entrance exams and in selecting and applying to the university or school of their choice.

Fellow Co-Valedictorian reached back into his formative years to share a story of a ill-fated — and amusing — fishing trip with his father as one of those occasions, “on a wrong boat on an unknown river”, where life’s lesson don’t always arrived as expected and that  it’s often a journey through rough water in which one develops the “courage” to “write your own story”.

 

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