Lakewood’s Class of 2012 looks to future | SLIDESHOW

LAKEWOOD — As Lakewood High School graduates prepare to enter the “real world,” hundreds of LHS students spent their June 11 commencement ceremony celebrating the past and looking toward the future.

The Lakewood High School gym was filled with graduating seniors, staff, friends and family who came out to support those who were heading out to face world ahead.

Valedictorian Aaron Nech spoke to his fellow classmates. “High school is much more than a public learning institution. It’s a memory,” he said.

“I know that each one of you will move on to do great things. I see a room full of fantastically talented adults that will find their own unique place in this world whether it be as an engineer, a doctor, a teacher or simply that smiling person you can always count on.”

Nech went on to discuss how his experiences at Lakewood helped shape him into the person he is today.

“I’ve watched heartbreak, triumph and fortitude. I’ve experienced love, commitment and selflessness. I love you guys and wouldn’t trade these memories for anything,” he said. Nech ended his speech with some wise words for the future. “Keep fighting through life and never, ever give up.”

Fellow valedictorian Kiley Brown said she was inspired by the stories of the individuals with whom he was graduating. “These individuals that sit in front of you today have faced many obstacles, such as senior projects, cougar PATH notebooks, coursework and senior presentations, all while trying to fight off senioritis. But we all made it here, for graduation,” she said. But graduation is not the end of the road for Lakewood seniors.

“The possibilities are endless when we believe in ourselves and our capabilities,” said Brown. “Although we are now done with high school and it might sound cliché, but it is not the end, but a new beginning. There is so much in store for the Class of 2012 and life will allow us to go further than we ever thought possible.”

Student speaker Jacob Micheletti urged classmates to embrace the future and themselves. “I’ll leave you with this — never be afraid to follow your dreams,” he said. “Everything you do, do it with love in your heart. And don’t be afraid to feel something for what it’s worth, because not much in this life is guaranteed. I wish the best of luck to every one of you.”

Jeff Sowards, Lakewood history teacher and coach for track and cross country also addressed the crowd. To graduates, he challenged them to go forward with a set of morals in mind. “I challenge you to be patient, kind, respectful, committed, accepting, selfless, honest and humble,” said Sowards. “In short, do these things with love in your heart and your memories will be rich, full and numerous.”

LHS senior Patricia Rivera said she felt as though her time at Lakewood wasn’t quite done. “I’m a little excited, but I feel like school’s not over,” said Rivera.

Jacob Bruley said he was glad to be finished with high school. “I’m pretty excited,” said Bruley, who plans to become a computer technician after attending Western Washington University. “I feel like I’m ready to move on.”


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