North Kitsap’s class of 2023 celebrated a unique commencement June 9, being the 100th graduating class in school history.
“It’s amazing how unique this class is,” principal Megan Sawicki said. “An honor that is distinctive to this class only and is full of tradition as well as a mark of progress.”
The Vikings graduated 246 seniors at NKSD stadium in Poulsbo.
The valedictorians included Julia Beatty, Emalee Burgh, Madison Carmichael, Stephen Gagnon, Eliana Ginn, Riley Gustas, Benen Lawler, Aidan Rodriguez and Rylee Turner. Salutatorians were John Webb and Kadie Staley.
Instead of all doing speeches, the 11 of them combined into one speech. Their speech tackled many topics but first highlighted overcoming failure.
“Like many of you, trying new things out of our comfort have been some things we have struggled with,” Staley said. “For me, failure is a thing I have avoided and felt shame about my whole life. As I reflect on my time in high school, I saw failure in a way I never did before. I learned that by failing to take chances and trying new things, we will have greater failure. I hope you all see failure has greater stepping stones within your future.”
Beatty, who was also the student body executive president, discussed NK pride. “I have been so excited to be a North student since elementary school and have vivid memories of watching my siblings in the stands eager for the day I can do the same,” Beatty said. “Although there are no words to describe walking through the halls of NK, pride has to be the closest.”
Beatty added the pride within NK has spread among generations throughout the community, which always gives back to the Poulsbo school they have pride in. “When you walk through the halls, may you think of all the students who strived before you. We inherited 100 years of North pride through the teachers, culture and community members. We must take this pride and march forward.”
Sawicki added her final words, stating “After today, you get to make your own choices about where life takes you. Have fun, makes this world a little better and stay true to yourself.”