TULALIP – One speaker after another talked about overcoming obstacles, never giving up and looking to the future at the Mountain View Arts and Tech and Heritage High graduations at the Tulalip Campus of the Marysville School District June 13.
For Heritage, student Nancy Enick said when they were freshmen they couldn’t wait to graduate. “Now I still don’t know what I’m doing,” she said. “But never quit.”
Classmate Angelia Paquin said she had a rough time in the 10th grade. “But Heritage was so supportive,” she said. “I love this school so much. And my family for never giving up on me.”
Teacher Loretta DeMatteo told the students that if they go through a rough patch to “think of a little me on your shoulder saying, ‘You can do it.’”
Teacher Cyrus Fryberg Jr. talked to the students about writing a speech for commencement, but he didn’t do it. “When I told them to do something they didn’t do it,” he said to laughter.
He said he always was trying to build up their self-esteem, and that will come in handy. “It’s going to be harder,” he said. “Keep going forward.”
School district representative Rochelle Lubbers told the graduates something she wished someone would have told her 20 years ago.
“Don’t worry” if you don’t know what you want to do for a career yet, she said. “Love yourself. That will open yourself up to all you’re supposed to do.”
At the MVAT ceremony, principal Ray Houser thanked the staff for putting in all the extra hours and letting the students take center stage.
Of the graduates, he said he was impressed with the “helpful concern you have for one another.
“We’re cheering for you,” he added, asking them to check back and give them updates.
Valedictorian Keanna Moon said she was “terrified” when she came to the new school district four years ago. She thanked the teachers for pushing them, being there when they needed them, and helping her come out of her shell. She said the school itself went through a lot of change and learning that will “help you get through whatever’s holding you back. You can accomplish way more than you think.”
Student speaker Nathaniel Robison said he came from a middle school of 1,300 kids, so he appreciated that he could “connect with teachers” at MVAT.
“They care about us,” he said. “They made a constant, relentless effort to educate us here.”
Another student speaker, Destiny Adolf, said because of addiction and other issues some of the graduates were told they could never do it. But they did. And now they are moving on.
“Say goodbye to everything we know and what’s comfortable,” she said, adding they have learned to “push forward and never give up on themselves.”
Staff speaker Paul LaGrange said they are unique in that they are the only graduates of Mountain View Arts and Tech. Previously, those were two schools and next year the school’s name will be Legacy.
“But you are unique in so many other ways,” LaGrange said.
He said students were concerned at first about forming one school, but they got to know each other, and they came together. “You’ve come so far and grown so much,” he said.
LaGrange gave them some tips for the future, including: “Love is a choice,” “Opportunity comes to the person who steps up,” “Stand up for what you believe,” and “Plan like you’ll live forever but live each day.”