NKHS grads advised to learn from mistakes

When the Class of 2024 began high school, the students took classes on their computers as freshmen via Zoom. After four daunting years, the North Kitsap seniors walked across the stage with the NK community supporting them along the way.

“Congratulations to everyone here who has helped shape these graduates into the young adults we see in front of us,” principal Megan Sawicki said. “They are ready to take on the world because of your guidance and care.”

Sawicki added the NK 2024 seniors have adapted to an ever-changing world. She hopes the seniors have learned more than academics while walking the halls of the high school.

“What truly matters are the life lessons you have learned and hope to support you,” Sawicki said. “Part of life is making mistakes and dealing with them. Yet, here you are. You are successfully ready to step into the world. Remember failure is inevitable and what makes us stronger.”

Eight valedictorians and four salutatorians took the stage afterward and five spoke on separate topics.

Valedictorian Allison Ashley discussed her time doing Running Start and the challenges she and her classmates faced over the years.

“I was able to meet people of different ages and backgrounds and learn about their indirect paths to learn their special abilities,” Ashley said. “I am impressed by those who take care of their families, switched schools midterm, work 32-hour weeks as a full-time student or rebound after time off.”

Salutatorian Salix Wartes-Kahl discussed the importance of NKHS extracurriculars.

“Although it would be easy to talk about athletics during extracurriculars, I want to focus on the parts that made those accomplishments possible,” Wartes-Kahl said. “Thank you to the art students who decorated the halls, the readers at Book Club and FFA members. Thank you to the rowers, dancers, minimum wage workers, sailors, archers and everyone who makes us who we are. Without this broad array of passions, we would not be standing here today.”

Valedictorian Kenji Desai finished the cycle by returning to the pride of the NK community. Although he joined the school district as a junior, he mentioned North Kitsap is unlike his seven other schools.

“It’s the small things like you can walk through Poulsbo and some random guy can stop you on the street and talk to you about the basketball game last night or how Bainbridge keeps getting crushed despite their arrogance,” Desai said. “The community at NK is more than the students and staff. When NK is in the news for the wrong reason, the NK community is quick to respond with the true identity of NK. We are not necessarily represented by the one with the most attention but the true heart of NK are those who give their loyalty to bettering this community.”

Kailee Fitzpatrick shows joy while receiving her diploma.

Kailee Fitzpatrick shows joy while receiving her diploma.

Sophia Randle celebrates receiving her diploma.

Sophia Randle celebrates receiving her diploma.

Yasmin Deluna Haroz and Pepe DeLuna hold hands while receiving their diplomas.

Yasmin Deluna Haroz and Pepe DeLuna hold hands while receiving their diplomas.

Kenji Desai shows support to the NK community.

Kenji Desai shows support to the NK community.

NK graduates celebrate with their national flags.

NK graduates celebrate with their national flags.

North Kitsap graduates celebrate with the Argentinian flag.

North Kitsap graduates celebrate with the Argentinian flag.

Several NK graduates decorate during graduation.

Several NK graduates decorate during graduation.