Graduation of five students from China underscored “international” in the Spring Street International School name, as the school on Sunday celebrated its 15th high school graduation ceremony.
“This is our most impressive graduating class,” said physics teacher Chuck Schietinger, adding that nine of the 12 graduates took AP Calculus and one, Ken Zhang, scored a perfect 800 on the SAT mathematics test. “And they are solidly moral young people.”
All 12 graduates are headed for four-year colleges. Collectively they have earned $350,000 in scholarships and grants from the 10 schools they plan to attend.
At the June 16 commencement ceremony, hosted by San Juan Community Theatre, Academic Dean and English teacher Heather June described each graduate with a single word; composer and music teacher Grisha Krivchenia serenaded each graduate with a piano piece picked to match those words.
For Pikting Izzy Cheung, who will study art and science at Portland State University, June picked “radiant”. Vanessa Thompson, who is “not into plans” but is also thinking of Portland State, was described as “intent”. And for Melisa Pinnow, heading for Evergreen State in Olympia, June picked “exuberant”.
Other schools welcoming SSIS honors graduates in the fall: George Washington U. (valedictorian magna cum laude Graham Crawbuck, “versatile”), New York Polytechnic (salutatorian magna cum laude Will Haviland, “complicated”), University of Southern California (magna cum laude Ryan Nowak-Crawford, “artistic”), University of California Irvine (magna cum laude Genhong Ken Zhang, “mischievous”), Linfield (cum laude Naomi Boydston, “imaginative”), Michigan State University (cum laude Lin Lin, “diligent”, and cum laude Bingye Willie Wu, “curious”), University of San Francisco (cum laude Zidan Angelina Liu, “enthusiastic”) and Western Washington U. (cum laude Joe Woodard, “creative”).
The commencement address was delivered with a mix of humor, charm and serious advice by U.W. Friday Harbor Labs Associate Director and Professor Dr. Adam Summers.
“Take risks and fail,” he told the graduates.
Summers said that’s how each will discover the passions they want to follow, and which will ultimately lead to what each will want to do with each of their lives.