Valedictorians Grace Epperson, Claire Moe and Madeline Seid and Salutatorian Lea Danhauer share their speeches among their classmates and families.

Valedictorians Grace Epperson, Claire Moe and Madeline Seid and Salutatorian Lea Danhauer share their speeches among their classmates and families.

Kingston graduates shine through resilience

  • By Nicholas Zeller-Singh North Kitsap Herald
  • Saturday, June 11, 2022 7:57pm
  • News

After being the first school in Kitsap County to close due to COVID-19 a few years back, Kingston High School’s Class of 2022 returned in person for graduation.

Despite dealing with hardships through high school, 167 graduates walked the stage to receive their diplomas and set foot toward adulthood Saturday.

Although Kingston is smaller than most local high schools, families packed North Kitsap Stadium in Poulsbo to witness for just over an hour the event take place. The graduation consisted of music from local tribal members, a speech from the principal, music by the high school band and choir, and speeches from the valedictorians/salutatorians.

There was one common theme—”resilience.” Principal Jack Simonson began the speeches by discussing how the four years have been unique.

“Here we are, celebrating the Class of 2022, and your accomplishments after four pretty standard, pretty boring years,” Simonson jokingly said. “We spent almost an entire year learning from home. We lost sports, dances, clubs and access to our friends for a while. But, we came back. If what I was supposed to do right now is encapsulate the graduating class into a unifying theme, then that is ours. You are the ones that came back.”

Simonson gave a few words of advice. “Remember, you know better than most, just because something is done some way doesn’t mean that’s always how it has to be done,” he said.

Salutatorian Lea Danhauer gave her input on the four challenging years. “When you sit down and list off all the things this class has gone through, there is a lot,” she said. “This group of seniors has been resilient. When I think of resilience, I think of grit, power and the will to push through when life is throwing everything it can in your way.”

Valedictorians Claire Moe and Grace Epperson added to the underlying theme.

“As a community, it is impressive what we have accomplished,” Moe said. “Think of everything we struggled through—social, political and economic. Together, we have adapted to everything that has been thrown at us. Our journey has prepared us well for whatever challenges come next.”

Epperson added: “When I reflect on these years, it hasn’t been easy to summarize all the struggles we’ve been through. We were forced to learn new ways to live, connect and learn. Through that process, we have become resilient.”

After an hour of speeches and performances at graduation, seniors at Kingston High School turned their tassels.

After an hour of speeches and performances at graduation, seniors at Kingston High School turned their tassels.

Before the seniors walked the stage, local tribal members performed a welcome song.

Before the seniors walked the stage, local tribal members performed a welcome song.

Kingston High seniors join their fellow band members one final time before graduating. Nicholas Zeller-Singh/North Kitsap Herald Photos

Kingston High seniors join their fellow band members one final time before graduating. Nicholas Zeller-Singh/North Kitsap Herald Photos

Kingston High School graduates walk the stage for the first time since before the COVID-19 pandemic began.

Kingston High School graduates walk the stage for the first time since before the COVID-19 pandemic began.

Co-valedictorian Claire Moe presents her speech in front of peers and family at the Kingston High graduation.

Co-valedictorian Claire Moe presents her speech in front of peers and family at the Kingston High graduation.

Co-valedictorian Grace Epperson discusses the resilience the Class of 2022 built throughout its high school journey.

Co-valedictorian Grace Epperson discusses the resilience the Class of 2022 built throughout its high school journey.

Co-valedictorian Madeline Seid discusses the tough journey her fellow Kingston Buccaneers persevered through.

Co-valedictorian Madeline Seid discusses the tough journey her fellow Kingston Buccaneers persevered through.

Principal Jack Simonson gives words of advice to the Kingston Class of 2022.

Principal Jack Simonson gives words of advice to the Kingston Class of 2022.

Seniors at Kingston High School celebrated an in-person graduation at North Kitsap Stadium.

Seniors at Kingston High School celebrated an in-person graduation at North Kitsap Stadium.

Salutatorian Lea Danhauer describes the journey her and her classmates experienced during their high school years.

Salutatorian Lea Danhauer describes the journey her and her classmates experienced during their high school years.

More in News

A little parade watcher exchanges a wave with a princess on a float. (Bob Smith | Kitsap News Group)
Summer weather returns just in time for Fathoms parade

Absent for two straight summers, parade watchers soak in the fun and sun

.
Toddler survives fentanyl overdose; mom arrested

Poulsbo child, 2, is alert; long-term effects unknown

The Planned Parenthood clinic in Bremerton. Courtesy Photo
Bremerton Planned Parenthood vows to provide access

Roe v. Wade overturned by US Supreme Court

The Timber Run sign inside the apartment property. Elisha Meyer/Port Orchard Independent Photos
Rent hike could leave some homeless

Some residents at a Port Orchard apartment complex are scrambling to find… Continue reading

.
All events back on for Kingston 4th of July

Parade at noon; fireworks at 10 p.m.

A map of the North Kitsap region where many trail segments are being considered for the North Sound to Olympics Trail. Courtesy Graphic
Planning discussed for North Sound to Olympics Trail

Kitsap County Public Works held an open house Wednesday at the Village… Continue reading

.
Turning 105 is no big deal for Mary DeLaGrange

Port Orchard birthday girl just wants her family to enjoy some cake

Animal Emergency & Specialty Center has expanded its services and is now located at College Marketplace in Poulsbo. Courtesy Photo
Poulsbo animal hospital moves, expands services

Animal Emergency & Specialty Center, formerly known as Animal Emergency & Trauma… Continue reading

The donated concrete floats were towed to the Port of Poulsbo for complete refurbishment and reuse in the new floating breakwater. Courtesy Photo
Construction of new Poulsbo breakwater begins

Will be ready for public by next year

Most Read