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Bound for adventure beyond; Spring Street Class of 2014
They’re more well-traveled than most, it’s safe to say. That’s part of the plan.
But the passage over the horizon may have been the shortest trek of all.
In quite likely their last trip together, the 14 graduates of Spring Street International School’s Class of 2014, one of the school’s largest ever, took a short stroll down the aisle, sat patiently on the stage of Friday Harbor Presbyterian Church for about 90 minutes on a sunny Saturday afternoon, and then they emerged in the world beyond, diplomas in hand, bound for new and different challenges across the continent and elsewhere around the globe.
For Class Valedictorian Starla Cosgrove, it’s the perfect fit of personalities and ties that bind, strengthened and steeled by journeys abroad, and enriched by the shared experience of harnessing a myriad of academic rigors closer to home, that will leave a lasting impression.
“Together we make up something amazing,” Cosgrove said in the address to her classmates.
But that’s not all. Cosgrove paid tribute to the courage, and to the passion displayed by her classmates over the years in all type of pursuits as well. She also urged them not to overlook the journey of others.
“And lastly, don’t forget to give back.”
Peppered with smiles and applause, the soon-to-be graduates were greeted by a warm welcome from family, friends and well-wishers as they passed by the church pews and stepped up onto the stage. They were swarmed by an even more enthusiastic embrace on stage after tassels had been turned and caps lofted ceremoniously into the air.
In between, in keeping with Spring Street commencement tradition, English instructor and academic dean Heather June bestowed upon the graduates a single word that describes the personality of each, which were then underscored and embodied in a brief piano melody by musical instructor Grisha Krivchenia. A slide-show tracing the journey of each graduate, from childhood to adulthood, followed.
Of the 14 graduates, the majority will be immersed in study at a four-year university or college come the fall, and with a financial wind under their sails. The class together amassed nearly $320,000 in collective scholarships from the schools of their choice. Most are headed to an institution of higher learning in Oregon or Washington, while Tianji Hao and Julia Miller, international students and recipients of the Washington State Honors Award for being among the top 10 percent of state high school graduates, based on GPA and SAT scores, are bound for college in southern California.
In her commencement address, Wendy Wood, executive director of Friday Harbor-based Africa Foundation USA, encouraged the graduates to work hard, be persistent, be authentic and, with a nod to the “transformative power of travel,” to take risks, the well-calculated kind.
Spring Street’s Head of School Louis Prussack counseled that the class would be well-served to find meaning, purpose and direction in the years to come by cultivating their passion and creativity, and by taking time to travel and to reflect upon those journeys as well. Don’t expect it to come all at once, Prussack advised.
“It is in creativity that you’ll find peace along your journey, and find the calm that will enable you to focus,” he said. “You won’t know your passion until you find it.”
For the Class of 2014, a new journey begins.