Members of North Kitsap High School’s Class of 2017 are jubilant as they arrive for graduation, June 9, at North Kitsap Stadium. (Angie Donovan/Kitsap News Group correspondent)

‘Reach for Tomorrow’: Hundreds are graduating from area high schools

POULSBO — Seven North Kitsap schools and more than 550 high school and college graduates.

West Sound Academy was first to host commencement exercises for its Class of 2017, on May 19 at the House of Awakened Culture. Other Kitsap schools follow this week and next.

Some 260 students received their diplomas at North Kitsap High School’s graduation ceremony June 9 at North Kitsap Stadium. This year’s class motto: “Cherish Yesterday, Live Today, Reach for Tomorrow.” Valedictorian Emily H. Bryant and salutatorian Molly J. Daigle spoke.

Of North Kitsap’s graduating class, 26 participated in Running Start and earned associate degrees. Ninety-four were on the Honor Roll this year — 70 with GPAs of 3.5 or above and 44 with a 3.7 and above.

Kingston High School’s graduation is from 1-2 p.m. June 10 at Kingston High School. Some 180 seniors will receive diplomas. Valedictorian Kwyn Demmert and salutatorian Nolan Platz will speak.

Of Kingston’s graduating class, 20 students are in Running Start. Three will graduate with associate degrees. In addition, some 223 scholarships were awarded; 150 seniors plan to attend college in the fall.

At Chief Kitsap Academy, 15 students will receive diplomas at the school’s commencement ceremony from 5-7 p.m. June 18 at Suquamish Clearwater Resort’s Waterfront Resort Lawn. Valedictorian Breena Belgarde and salutatorian Martha Fergus will speak. Two Running Start students will graduate with AA degrees; 13 students plan to pursue higher education in the fall.

Olympic College Poulsbo will host its graduation at 6 p.m. June 16 in the pavilion at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds. Arrive early, as parking is limited. Of the graduating class, 142 students made the Dean’s Scholars list, with a 3.5-3.89 GPA; 33 students will graduate with the President’s Scholars Award (3.9-4.0 GPA); and 17 students will graduate as a President’s Medal recipients (4.0 GPA).

Northwest College of Art and Design expects roughly 19 seniors will receive degrees its commencement, beginning at 10 a.m. Sept, 10 at the Kitsap Conference Center in Bremerton.

NCAD does choose valedictorians and salutatorians, but at this writing, Director of Education Julius Finley said it’s too early to tell.

“We normally determine that at the end of the ninth semester when final grades are calculated,” he said.

This marks the last graduation in Kitsap for the private arts college, which is moving to Tacoma in fall.

West Sound Academy hosted its 16th annual commencement on May 19 at the House of Awakened Culture, in Suquamish. There were 14 graduating seniors. Receiving International Baccalaureate diplomas were Spencer Drewry, Leanne Gimber, Karsten Hald, Benjamin Silvernale, Madelyn Solly-Tanner, Espen Swanson, Eleanor Uyyek and Alexandra Welch.

Scholarships offered to West Sound Academy’s graduating class totalled $1,292,800.

— Sophie Bonomi is a reporter for Kitsap News Group. Contact her at

This North Kitsap High School graduate is headed to Brigham Young University. (Angie Donovan/Kitsap News Group correspondent)

The North Kitsap High School choir sings during commencement June 9 at North Kitsap Stadium. (Angie Donovan/Kitsap News Group correspondent)

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