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Spectrum students step out into adulthood
LITTLE BOSTON — For some, graduation day is a day unlike any other — a simple step, an accomplishment to check off from life’s giant to-do list.
For others, life’s challenges are priorities above education. Taking care of brothers, sisters and grandparents, providing a steadfast family foundation and dealing with situations beyond the maturity level of a high school senior arise and test the inner character of these others.
For the 2008 class of 16 graduates from Spectrum High School, they faced obstacles, showed their determination and still persevered to obtain the chance to turn the tassel on their graduation cap Friday night at the Port Gamble S’Klallam House of Knowledge.
“You each are your own teacher now, you sports players will now coach the younger generations. It’s time to roll up your sleeves. It’s different now. You are a high school graduate.”
These were the words spoken by Phil Davis, retired Spectrum teacher and founder of the International Student Exchange and the Human Rights Programs.
“Find something good to do and have the pride to do it well,” he said.
This was the feeling of all those family and friends who witnessed the young men and women receive their diplomas, wrought on smiles, tears and a “whole lot of faith.”
“Some are the first high school graduates in their family. Many come to us and don’t think they are going to graduate,” said Spectrum teacher Bob Geballe, who teaches video production and journalism.
As exciting as it was for the graduating class, from the looks of it the majority of the emotional weight was shouldered by the teachers.
“They come to us with all their good things and problems. Because we are so small it’s like we become family,” Geballe said. “It’s not like being a parent but its similar. It’s very emotional.”
This year, teachers said goodbye to the “mysterious, accomplished artist,” Desiree Patterson; Mr. Baseball Joseph Boldt; Shaylee Baker, whose smile and cheerful disposition brightened the day of her teachers; Trisha Peterson, who “surmounted every obstacle;” Jordan Hankin “the non-conformist” with aspirations to become a lawyer for tribal rights; “the kind, loving” Dee Dee Davis and many others.
When teacher Theresa Holland-Schmid handed the diploma belonging to Erin Mathisen, “superhero destroyer of the wall of intolerance” Holland-Schmid said “the world needs more superheroes and you (Erin) are right in time.”
Parting words were heartfelt, congratulatory and advisory.
In the words written by Dr. Suess in “Oh the Places You’ll Go,” read by Mathisen and Holland-Schmid, “Your mountain is waiting, get on your way.”
Hands raised above his head, Hankin said these parting words to his class: “Expect great things, no matter what, expect the best.”
Scholarship recipients for the class of 2008: Erin Mathisen for the highest GPA; Desiree Patterson, Faith Episcopal Church; Alyceia Marsh, Olympic College Scholastic Achievement for having GPA above 3.0 for more five school quarters; Dana Cole, North Kitsap Alumni Scholarship.