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Lift off: Journey begins for FHHS Class of 2011

Margaret Nash receives a diploma and congratulations from school board President Boyd Pratt at Friday Harbor High School
Margaret Nash receives a diploma and congratulations from school board President Boyd Pratt at Friday Harbor High School's graduation ceremony, Saturday, at Turnbull Gym.
— image credit: Scott Rasmussen

Take a moment to think of the Class of 2011 as a collection of rockets, like Nick Roberts does.

With that image in mind, Roberts, class Valedictorian, bid his fellow Friday Harbor High School graduates to make the most of the technology and engineering that has gone into making them who they are as they launch into the great unknown.

Roberts, bound for M.I.T. later in the year, noted that the moment each rocket receives his or her diploma and steps off the makeshift stage in Turnbull Gym, the 66 graduates will have each left the ground and, from here on out, “will be in charge, and everyone else will be just a spectator” of their flight. The Class of 2011 should be equipped with the Right Stuff to complete its mission, he said.

“Use what you’ve been given so you can avoid that dreaded call back home,” Roberts added. “Ahh...Houston, we have a problem.”

Friday Harbor’s Class of 2011 left the launching pad well-fueled, however, and with great fanfare Saturday at the high school gym. Another capacity crowd was on hand to celebrate the lift off of the school’s 99th graduating class, 33 of whom began their trajectory through the island’s public school system together in kindergarten.

A big boost of community support may help the graduates reach new heights.

Roughly $165,000 in financial scholarship were bestowed upon the class, collectively.

Class Salutatorian Elle Guard noted that when times are tough, like an unexpected losing streak on the softball field, that she relies on advice of a former little league coach, who once told her and her teammates that they have a choice when things go as planned either to “be bitter or get better.”(That former coach was her father).

“There’s going to be times when you struggle with curve balls life will throw at you,” she said. “That’s the time when you have a challenge to become a better person.”

Community Events, April 2014

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