South Kitsap High seniors prepare for the future

By MICHELLE BEAHM | Staff Writer

TACOMA — "Seniors, class of 2013, let's give it up!"

So said Michael Brothers, a new graduate of South Kitsap High School (SKHS) in his welcoming speech at the commencement ceremony.

Tuesday evening saw the Tacoma Dome bombarded with people as 595 SKHS graduates and their families, as well as 10 foreign exchange students flocked to the place for the ceremony, which started on time at 7 p.m.

After the welcoming speech of Principal Jerry Holsten, Brothers took the stage to welcome his classmates and families to the ceremony. His was only one of two speeches given by students, though, and after two students performed Fleetwood Mac's "Landslide," Delaney DiGiovanni gave her speech about the importance of commencement.

"Every memory I have of this school is so important to me," she told the crowd.

Holsten had his say as well, and his speech spoke of the pride he had in the graduating class.

"I encourage you, the class of 2013, to embrace all that you've accomplished," he said.

When the ceremony finished at almost 9 p.m., everyone in attendance swarmed the floor for congratulatory hugs and well-wishing.

"It was sad at times, but it was worth it," said new graduate Connor Bitterman, who plans to go to Bates Technical College to study fire science and fire safety in preparation to become a fireman. "I've worked really hard the past couple years to get to this point."

As Holsten hinted at in his speech, every student worked hard to make it to their high school graduation, but some worked harder than others, it seems.

Benjamin de Lacy, one of the two valedictorians of the SKHS 2013 class, said he felt like he accomplished a lot.

"It means a lot to be the top of the class," de Lacey said. "It’s an honor."

De Lacy also said that the overall experience for him was "a little chaotic."

"I really had no clue what was going on," he laughed. "Nobody told me how to do the tassels thing, so I kind of had to wing it."

De Lacy and his co-valedictorian, Elaina Larson, led all the students in the changing of the tassels after everyone had walked across the stage and accepted their diplomas.

Graduates Christine Crenshaw and Nick Beahm were less serious in their after-ceremony celebrations.

"I just feel like I'm done!" Beahm shouted. "Finally! No more homework, or school work. Until the fall."

When asked how she felt about graduating, Crenshaw simply said, "I don't even know. I'm still in shock." She did say that she enjoyed the experience of graduating, though she was surprised at how short it was compared to previous SKHS graduations she's attended.

When asked what they wanted to do with their lives, Crenshaw said she wasn't sure, but Beahm was quick to answer.

"I want to be a high school graduate when I grow up," he laughed. "Goal achieved." His future plans, though, include studying communications at Washington State University and ultimately becoming a sports talk show host.

With so many different students and so many different plans for the future, Holsten told everyone in his speech to remember one very important thing.

"We’re all part of one group," he said. "We’re all part of the same pack. You will always be Wolves."

Brothers also wanted his fellow classmates to keep that in mind.

"No matter the amount of struggles (or) conflicts that may arise, the strength of the wolf will always be in the pack," he said.


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