Proud parents, family, and friends packed the Friday Harbor High School gym on Saturday, June 10 to honor the graduating class of 2017.
ASB president Nayaleah Tucker-Belt welcomed and thanked the audience for being a loving the community, then she introduced class salutatorian Corbin Williams.
“Without all of you, we wouldn’t be the people we are today,” said Williams, during his speech, titled “The Gettysburg Address.” He began by reciting the actual Gettysburg Address, as a joke.
Williams ended his speech tying in the class motto, “We may not have it all together, but together we have it all.”
Eli Cooper West and Griffin Cuomo commenced the graduation with the class history, a Wolverine tradition detailing when each graduating student arrived at the school, and where they came from.
Over 36 community scholarships were awarded to the class of 62 students. The American Legion handed out over $9,000. Friday Harbor service clubs Lion’s, Masonic Lodge, Kiwanis, and Soroptimist all gave awards as did the Luxel Corporation, San Juan County Sheriff’s Guild, Coldwell Banker, Innskeep Legacy, Islands Artisans Artist, Key Bank, Kings Market, the Journal of the San Juans and others. Thirteen of the students participated in the Dollars for Scholars program, Principal Fred Woods said, awarding those individuals scholarship money as well. Dollars for Scholars is a program where seniors volunteer for a minimum of 80 hours of community service during their high school career to receive educational funds.
Class valedictorian Kai Herko gave his speech, “Towards the Next Chapter,” discussing his thoughts on the future for the class.
According to statements in the June 7 “Grad Tab” graduation supplement to the Journal, which discusses the memories and next steps for each graduate, a large portion of this class will be going into scientific fields including health and psychology, engineering, and environmental sciences. The ceremony ended with a slide show of students as babies, children, and present day, drawing cheers and tears from the audience.
“Each class has its own character for sure, and I have enjoyed every minute with this one,” said Woods.