Spirits were as bright as the sun over Edmonds Stadium Thursday as administrators of Mountlake Terrace High School presented diplomas to the 283 members of the school’s Class of 2015.
Commencement was held before a packed grandstand at the stadium, with music and student speakers preceding the presentation of diplomas.
Associated Student Body President Taron Castleton began the ceremony with an observation of his fellow graduates; “You all look like you’re having a great day,” he said. “I hope that continues.”
Senior Class President Stephanie Garcia gave her part of her message to graduates and guests in Spanish before ending her speech with a proclamation: “I’m so excited to see where the future takes us. Congratulations to the Class of 2015.”
Daniel Reeber, selected by his fellow Class of 2015 members to speak at commencement, encouraged the graduates to pursue “what really matters” in life. “Success shouldn’t be measured in money or grades or honors,” Reeber said. “Success should be measured by how you live and your happiness.”
Jacinta Garcia had a similar message to her fellow graduates: “Find the way you can help others or find your passion. Even better, find the way to combine the two,” she stated.
Nick Fiorillo used his commencement speech to encourage young people to engage in political stands, citing Claudette Colvin, Mary Beth Tinker and Constance McMillen as teens from the past 60 years who helped bring change in American culture. “Now, more than ever, we need more citizens that will rise to the challenges of our time,” Fiorillo said.
Principal Greg Schwab closed out the ceremonies’ speeches by honoring graduates who were enrolling into a service academy, who had earned two-year college degrees in addition to their high school diploma, the class valedictorians and those school staff members who were retiring. He also gave graduates five final points of advice: cast a wide friendship net, own and control your actions, use your mistakes to build upon, never stop learning and remember your roots.
“We’ve done our part,” Schwab concluded. “Now the rest is up to you. We are proud of what you have accomplished and will be proud for all you will achieve from here on out.”
– By Doug Petrwoski