The community tipped their hats to the 55 graduates who tossed their caps Saturday, June 9, at the Friday Harbor High School.
“This class always followed their passions and did what they loved even if it got them in trouble…” said Laurel Robertson, salutatorian, in her speech titled “How Far We’ve Come.”
“We are passionate enough to follow our dreams … and resilient enough not to let our mistakes get in our way,” she added.
Student body president Hallie Hargrove welcomed the crowd while Emma Jean Carpentier presented the class history, an island tradition noting when each student came to the high school, when they may have left, and when they returned.
A majority of the ceremony included handing out awards to the graduates. Approximately 37 different organizations handed out scholarships, including a first-time award from the San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau for $1,000 to Midi Thomas and Tenley Nelson. Funding for this scholarship came out of the bureau’s membership dues, not from taxpayer money. The award was originally created for one student, however, executive director Deborah Hopkins said the two applicants were so impressive that they decided to award them both.
The Kiwanis Club dispersed $11,800 to 18 different students. Luxel Corporation scholarship awarded Laurel Robertson, Savanna Hoffman and Kianna Woods with $2,000 each, and Zachary Fincher with $3,000. The American Legion Auxiliary had five applicants, and they also decided, based on the caliber of the applications, to award all five graduates.
Valedictorian Zachary Fincher gave his speech “Island Life,” in which he thanked the families of the graduates and the community for their support.
“We are not alone, we are not an island,” he said, adding that now the class will chart their own course of their journey.
“We will hold on to the things we have learned as we journey into the great unknown,” he said.