Arlington schools say see you later to 2007 graduates
August 27, 2008 · Updated 3:39 PM
ARLINGTON Within the past week, the Arlington School District has bid farewell to two more of its schools graduating classes for this year, sending each of them off with best wishes and advice for the future.
Weston High Schools 15-member Class of 2007 staged their graduation ceremony in the old high school on French Street June 14, even though this is the second Weston High School class to graduate from their new building, located next to the Stillaguamish Athletic Club, where they moved to near the start of 2006.
Weston High School Principal Maureen Stanton credited the teachers and students of her school with educating each other, before urging the graduates to remember the trials theyve already faced in obtaining their diplomas.
Nothing is insurmountable, Stanton said. Youve overcome everything from medical issues and substance abuse to balancing full-time jobs with child-rearing. With the hard work and determination that youve demonstrated here, you can conquer any challenge.
The John C. Larson Memorial Stadium was packed to overflowing June 15. Arlington High Schools more than 300 graduating students, and their families, filled up not only the AHS parking lot, but also many of the sidewalks in the adjoining neighborhood.
Garrett Potter was one of six valedictorians for the AHS Class of 2007, all of whom graduated with 4.0 GPAs. He reflected on the numerous changes that he and his peers have witnessed in Arlington over the course of the past four years, from the loss of familiar hangouts to the completion of a new police station and the Lynda M. Byrnes Performing Arts Center.
As this community has grown, so have we, said Potter, who noted the diversity of his peers, from scholars and athletes to artists and future farmers, while emphasizing the experiences they had shared, and the friendships they had forged as members of the same graduating class.
Fellow AHS Valedictorian Annie Thordarson characterized her peers graduation as the latest in a series of goals theyd accomplished, from their first baby steps to earning their drivers licenses.
Learn from the past, but dont hold onto it too tight, said Thordarson, who recalled Franklin Delano Roosevelts advice. Take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another, but above all, try something. You only have yourself to blame for the risks that you dont take. Failure is not as bad as regret.
Between speeches, AHSs Jazzmine sang Bridge Over Troubled Waters for the audience, while AHS graduate Jeff Boyden performed a keyboard solo of And So It Goes.
AHS Principal Kurt Criscione estimated that the total amount of scholarships earned by his students added up to approximately $1 million. He reported that those students teachers had praised them for their focus, their lack of complaint, their abilities and their senses of humor.
Arlington School District Superintendent Linda Byrnes followed Criscione by noting that the AHS Graduating Class of 2007 was the first that attended all its high school classes in their current building.
You started out on this campus, Byrnes said. It was always your school. Youve built new traditions and a new identity for this school and its been a pleasure to watch.
After AHS Senior Class Vice-President Samantha Welch led her peers in the traditional turning of the tassels, the stadium grounds erupted into festive chaos, as mortarboard caps, streams of silly string and beach balls flew into the evening air.
Lizzy Cyr received an unexpected graduation present when she was greeted by her father Michael, who has spent the past year doing construction in Louisiana.
I told my boss he could have my job if I couldnt be here, said Michael Cyr, who is working with contractors to rebuild hurricane-devastated bridges. He said my job would be waiting for me when I got back. I havent seen Lizzy in a year, so there were tears in my eyes when I did.
I was so surprised and glad, said Lizzy Cyr, who was also reunited with her uncle and cousin. Ive missed him a lot.