Arlington graduates express selves on caps

ARLINGTON — Self-expression is one trait that Arlington High School’s graduating class will not fall short of, if their ceremony on June 6 was any indication.
The class sported an assortment of one-liners atop their flat-caps, with one thanking “Mom, Dad and Red Bull” for getting them through school, while another simply proclaimed proudly, “I Did It!”
Valedictorian Vanessa Peterson noted how she and her classmates had seen their numbers go from 404 freshman to 394 sophomores to 358 juniors to 320 seniors.
“This is the first time the majority of us will be on our own, and that’s scary and exciting, so of course we’re going to make mistakes,” Peterson said. “And that’s okay. We’ve just finished high school. We still have an abundance of time to pull ourselves together and become functioning members of society.”
Fellow valedictorian Grayson Baden recalled the experiences that she and her classmates have shared.
“Arlington has given us many things, and they will remain with us forever,” said Baden, who’s lived in the town since she was 1. “Support and love from our growing town have propelled us forward, and now it’s time to give back.”
Fellow valedictorian Kaylyn Myers credited students’ teachers, coaches and families, each of whom contributed life lessons beyond what they learned in class.
“Some of these lessons, we don’t grasp by ourselves, and they have to be taught to us,” Myers said.
AHS Principal Brian Beckley pointed out that he had served as many of the students’ principal since sixth grade.
“I have seen these students grow so much from their first steps into secondary schools, trying to figure out bell schedules and locker combinations, meeting new friends, and figuring out how to manage time and the demands of homework,” Beckley said.
Beckley reported that 140 graduates plan to continue their educations with the aid of $1.7 million in scholarships.
Beckley praised the students for exemplifying this year’s ASB theme of “Unite” by coming together for  fundraisers for survivors of the Oso mudslide.
“Their ability to unite our school and community will be one of their lasting influences on our school,” Beckley said.

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