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Blooms of hard work come to fruition

 - Brad Camp/Staff Photo
— image credit: Brad Camp/Staff Photo

POULSBO — Overcast skies and dark clouds threatened to put a damper on the North Kitsap High School graduation ceremony Saturday afternoon in Poulsbo. But as fate would have it, everything worked out, and not a single drop of rain fell on the 387 members of the class of 2007 during the festivities.

There may not have been rain falling from the heavens, but there wasn’t a dry eye at the stadium when graduating senior Aaron Jacot’s name was announced. Jacot was seriously injured in a motorcycle accident April 21. He was paralyzed from his chest down, but has the use of his hands.

Despite his injuries, he was determined to cross the stage as a graduate, and his good friend Joe Benish made sure it became a reality.

Benish was by his best friend’s side, pushing Jacot’s wheelchair up the ramp, where Jacot received his diploma in front of the roaring capacity crowd at the stadium. Jacot raised his hand into the air with his diploma in hand after arriving on stage, acknowledging his classmates and attendees alike.

“Aaron and I have been friends since the first grade,” Benish said. “We have been working on doing this together for a while now. It was really special. We have been waiting to graduate from high school together our whole life.”

Jacot’s father Doug was glad to see his son graduate with his fellow classmates.

“It was very special,” Doug Jacot said. “This is something we have been looking forward to ever since his accident. Joe’s been a huge help through all of this. It was great to have him up there with my son.”

Jacot said it was great feeling to be at the ceremony with his friends and classmates.

“We knew it (attending graduation) was going to happen today,” he said. “It was awesome to have my friends here and graduate with them.”

Jacot said high school went by faster than he thought it would.

“I am glad to be done,” he said. “High school is a lot shorter than you think it would be. At the beginning of it, I thought I would never be done. It goes by so fast.”

During the ceremony, NKHS principal Kathy Prasch praised the graduates for their hard work.

“You’re an amazing group of students. The class of 2007 earned almost $2 million dollars in scholarships,” she said. “This class of 2007 is truly a class with class.”

Prasch wasn’t alone in this assessment.

“Just think about how much time and energy we put forth to get where we are today,” said co-valedictorian Lindsey Sprague as she addressed her classmates during the ceremony. “Think about the people here today at graduation who helped you get to that point along the way. Everyone has had someone influence them at some point. In the future, take a glance back at the people who have helped you become who you are.”

Fellow co-valedictorian Mark Sanders also delivered words of wisdom to his fellow graduates.

“We all have a complete set of seeds, and you can cultivate any of the seeds that you want to,” he said.

After almost two hours of festivities, at 3:14 p.m. the NKHS class of 2007 became official with the turning of the tassels. Graduates then flung their caps into the air, signifying the end of their high school careers.

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