High schools from the Central Kitsap region sent hundreds of students into the next chapters of their lives in recent graduation ceremonies.
Bremerton High School kicked things off June 9 with a ceremony that, like many past years, was dampened by on-and-off showers. Ultimately, the only true downpour was that of graduation caps and a number of confetti cannons as the district honored a little under 300 students at Bremerton Memorial Stadium.
The time passed by rather quickly for students such as senior class speaker Titus Malaga, who addressed the aspect of growing up and the gradual progression of their educations. “Coming into school as a freshman, I thought that we had all the time in the world goofing off and not taking anything seriously, but in the blink of an eye, here I am before you all speaking at graduation, and I am grateful for these moments that have brought us here today.”
Mayor Greg Wheeler of Bremerton congratulated the graduates, reminding them of the learning opportunities ahead and challenging them to use them to the betterment of themselves and their communities. It was a statement reflective of the senior class quote, “Life is meant to be a challenge, as it is an opportunity to learn and grow.”
Wheeler said: “Use the knowledge you have gained to keep growing… I encourage you to keep expanding upon what you know today and use your passion and energy to help guide you.”
Graduations of the three high schools in the Central Kitsap School District followed.
First up was a perfect sunny day at Olympic High School’s Integrity Stadium, where friends and family packed the stands and the surrounding gateway to watch the class of 2023 complete its high school journey.
Valedictorian Jacob Krell, a National Merit Scholarship semifinalist, reflected on the unpredictability of their high school lives, especially given their educations were altered by the global COVID pandemic. Even though it provided many people with the scary thought of an unpredictable world ahead, he reminded his classmates of the many possibilities therein.
“An unpredictable world is a world filled with opportunities, and there’s no one better position to take advantage of those opportunities than the class that’s already shown it can survive and thrive, even amid some of the most remarkable challenges that the world can throw at you,” he said.
Olympic High principal Scott Wilson furthered his confidence in the class of 2023, urging them to lead in kindness, create reachable goals and plan for their futures. “If you have not already made your plan, it is never too late to start because one thing is absolutely certain. If you do not make your own plan, you become part of somebody else’s plan, and that is no way to enjoy your journey,” he said.