After walking across the stage with tassels swinging and gowns swaying, each of the 354 Central Kitsap High School graduates proved they were ready to walk into the real world, diploma in hand.
The auditorium was packed Thursday with nearly 2,800 friends and family of the graduates at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds. Marching into the auditorium, those sitting in the bleachers hooted and hollered as their graduates walked in pairs, carnations in hand.
Once the crowd settled, the school’s top graduates took to the stage.
“I’d like to reflect on the past, but first, let me take a selfie,” salutatorian Keith Christen told the audience.
He whipped out his phone and snapped a photo of himself and other top graduates with the audience in the background, eliciting chuckles.
After welcoming speeches, a senior was honored for the category of “outstanding senior.”
Up until last night, no one other than faculty knew that the outstanding senior was Becca Crabtree.
She was selected by staff for her “spirited, driven, selfless and loyal” personality, along with her service commitment to others. She received an award for her work prior to the walk across stage for the rest of her class.
Before students accepted diplomas, David McVicker, CKSD’s interim superintendent, told grads, “each of you is prepared for commencement. You will join a long history of Central Kitsap High School graduates in the challenging world.”
While many of the student ceremony speeches were filled with references to pop culture, the class of 2014’s two valedictorians and six salutatorians also reflected on the meaning of the day.
Closing out the ceremony, Valedictorians Abby Wilson and Bryce Martz shared the microphone as they talked about planning their speech in Starbucks “for hours.”
They decided there wasn’t much they could say to a class that had accomplished so much — service projects, state wins and more — that hadn’t already been said.
In total, the graduating class scored $2.6 million in scholarships and grants to further their education.
The two advised their classmates to pursue their passions, give up past regrets and play hard and work hard.
“The future is here, so come and get it,” the valedictorians told the crowd.
With that, the class turned their tassels and threw their caps into the air before rushing out into the cool evening air, chanting, “CK—High, CK—High!”