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Weston's Class of 2010 graduates
ARLINGTON — Four students among Weston High School's class of 2010 have been homeless. Six are or will soon be parents. Ten have dropped out at one point, only to re-enroll and continue their education.
Despite those challenges, they persevered.
"This is why we believe they're heroic," said principal Maureen Stanton during the senior class graduation on Wednesday, June 16, at the Byrnes Performing Arts Center. "It's difficult to see them go through these trials, but it's even greater to see them persevere."
Thirty-four of the school's 38 graduating seniors, as well as about 500 parents and family members, attended the ceremony. This year's senior class was the largest ever to graduate from the alternative high school, which was founded in 1986.
During Stanton's welcoming speech and introduction, she said some of the students enrolled at Weston have faced problems and obstacles that students in traditional high schools often don't encounter.
"It's not about the diploma — it's the fact that you didn't quit," said Stanton, adding that the Class of 2010 should be well-equipped to face life's challenges because they've already experienced them.
Finally, Stanton addressed the audience, thanking them for letting their students enroll at Weston.
"They're not quitters — they're winners, and we are happy to have had the opportunity to have worked with them," she said.
Weston staff then presented former Arlington School Board member Carolyn Erickson with the school's Outstanding Achievement Award. Erickson served 16 years on the Board.
After the presentation, Weston counselor Mary Murray and employment specialist presented students with a variety of scholarships — three of which were taken home by senior Monique Howard.
Howard will attend Edmonds Community College in the fall.
All students received mugs filled with candy from Weston staff members Jennifer Marsh and Alison Douglas.
As each student was handed their mug, Marsh and Douglas took turns reading a short comment about them.
Comments ranged from "When you were here, your sunny personality brightened our day," for Devyn Jones to "We would love to see your reporting on the evening news one day. A career in broadcast journalism is a perfect fit for you," for Vanessa Moss.
Once all students had received their mugs, Diane Kirchner-Scott, executive director of teaching and learning for the Arlington School District, certified that seniors had met all the necessary state and district requirements. They were then handed their diplomas by Stanton, and shook hands with the School Board.
Following the presentation of diplomas, seniors and attendees were treated to a slide presentation created by students Jessica Jendersee, Lincoln Crone, Cody Shipman, Denzel Forch, Austin Smith, Michelle Huguenin, Persis Gayle and Jim Flatmo.
"Each of you, one-by-one, made it here tonight," Kirchner-Scott said. "Please celebrate your teamwork. The more successful you can be as a team, the more successful you will be in life."
The Weston High School class of 2010 is Cherie Ball, Jeremy Bauer, Kristen Boober, Brittany Chapman, Shyanne Clark, Justin Danger, Contessa Davenport, Taylor DeGroot, Timothy Faulkner, Cody Fifield, Kevin Gross, Amy Hilt, Jacqueline Holland, Monique Howard, Matthew Imboden, Donita Johnson, Devyn Jones, Aleksandra Lazovick, Kelsey Lucier, Aric Martin, Jamie Morgan, Vanessa Moss, Daunisha Neitzel, Ashley Patch, Joshua Pearson, Tyler Power, Cory Robison, Julia Sanders, Natasha Smith, Kristine Solis, Victoria Solvang, Hillary Swenson, Shawn Wallenfelsz, Jordan Witkowski, Yana Chebotareva, Kylie Evan and Matthew Gepner.