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North Kitsap graduates 370

POULSBO—Janeen Garcia knew exactly what she was going to do as soon as her high school career came to an end: Sleep. For like a whole day.

Garcia, one of the 370 members of the North Kitsap High class of 2010, was “excited and nervous” as she lined up with her classmates before the pomp and circumstance began.

“I might cry,” said Garcia, who failed to remember to purchase waterproof mascara. “I’ve waited my whole life for this.”

The NK High class of 2010 was large in numbers and life, said NK Principal Kathy Prasch as the class gathered one final time for its graduation ceremony Friday night at North Kitsap Stadium.

The graduating seniors showed unheard of patience as the school was under construction for many of their school years, Prasch said. They saw the school flood during heavy rains, and endured construction dust and the smell of tar as they attended classes each day.

This also was the first class to enter high school as sophomores – the class of 2011 began high school as freshmen. The students showed an uncanny spirit when they spoke out and took action to ensure NK Stadium retained its Viking identity, Prasch said.

Their high school experience culminated in $2 million in college scholarships and acceptance letters from colleges in far-flung places: Sophia Leonard, one of four valedictorians, will attend Princeton University, while Johanna Lund will attend the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

Others, too, have plans and bright futures ahead of them.

Graduating senior Brandon Pearce plans to attend college and earn a business degree. With that, he’ll move to Sacramento, Calif., and open a body shop, he said.

As for the graduation thing, he said it would take a while for it to feel real.

“It hasn’t really sunk in yet,” Pearce said. “I still feel like I have to get up and go to school tomorrow.”

Pearce’s plans fit well into the advice the valedictorians gave their classmates in a combined speech.

“Many of us will travel many miles. Some will be metaphorical,” valedictorian Tyler Gregg said.

That in mind, the valedictorians closed their speech, in unison, with “go big or go home.”

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Photos by Brad Camp Images

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