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Kingston High School graduates a 'class of firsts'

POULSBO — The Kingston High School class of 2010 was all Buccaneers.

The 194 who graduated in a ceremony at North Kitsap Stadium on Saturday represented the first class to have spent all its high school years in Kingston.

That distinction is a point of pride for the class of 2010.

"There was a tight bond between all of us," said graduate Roy Swearingen, who is bound for Waldorf College in Iowa. "We grew up together."

The class of 2010 entered the newly-built high school as sophomores in 2007, after finishing their ninth grade year in junior high school. The classes of 2008 and 2009 had each spent time North Kitsap High School before moving to KHS.

The class of 2010 was at the center of many new KHS traditions, said class Salutatorian Elle Sander.

It was the class that chose the Buccaneers as the school mascot. The first to field a state champion athlete, in runner Ruby Roberts. The first, as seniors, to lead a town-wide homecoming celebration, and play a football game under lights at Buccaneer Field.

"We break the mold, we are a class of firsts," Sander said, before taking a playful jab at North Kitsap High School. "There is no Viking influence in our blood."

Gray skies and light rain didn't dampen an exuberant graduation ceremony, which began at 11 a.m. on Saturday. Graduates paraded into the stadium through an archway modeled after a pirate ship and tossed beach balls after taking their seats.

Mitch Murdock, who shared the position of class valedictorian with Emily Wahl, said his class was ready to solve the world's challenges with "iPods and Lady Gaga." He took a moment at the podium to snap a class photograph for "my Facebook page."

In a more serious moment, KHS Principal Christy Cole reflected on the Class of 2010's role as the first class "wholly and entirely Kingston High School."

"They have shown us their own brand of Buccaneer magic," Cole said.

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