Fifty-one Edmonds Heights K-12 seniors hit a milestone Friday night as they crossed the stage to receive their high school diplomas.
Friends and family members gathered in the Edmonds Heights gymnasium to celebrate the students’ academic accomplishments. Introducing the graduating students was the school’s principal, Scott Mauk.
“Students of the class of 2019, let me be the first to welcome you to the adult world,” he said to the graduates
Edmonds Heights K-12 is a parent-partnered program that serves elementary- through high school-age students who do their studies both at home and school. The school is located on the former Woodway High School campus.
The ceremony began with a performance by the Edmonds Heights orchestra and remarks by Mauk and Superintendent Kris McDuffy. McDuffy congratulated the graduates and thanked their parents for their role as educators in their kids’ lives. Quoting American novelist Kurt Vonnegut, she offered the students some advice.
“‘Enjoy the little things in life, because one day you’ll look back and realize they were the big things,’” she read.
During the ceremony, graduating senior Reed Riker played Led Zeppelin’s “Ramble On” on his electric guitar. Next came a vocal performance from the senior ensemble, who sang “Relativity” from the show The Theory of Relativity. The ceremony also included reflection speeches from five graduating students.
During his speech, Jesse Sershon talked about his time at Edmonds Heights — from doing the Lego Challenge in fourth grade to finding a home in the high school’s theater department. MÃ¡tÃ© PÃ¡sztor spoke about the importance of leaving a legacy, no matter how big or small. Madeleine Jenness said one of the most important lessons she learned at the school was to stand up for injustice, and how she will continue to fight for what she believes in.
Student speaker Kiera Craig challenged everyone to be their “truest self” and to always strive to change and improve. Cyber-school student Charlotte Day gave an emotional speech about how her learning disabilities made it difficult for her to graduate. She invited the audience to stand or raise their hand if they ever failed and reminded them that perseverance pays off
“I challenge all of you not to define yourself or others by the chains that hold you back, but by the wings that lift you up,” she said.
After a video presentation featuring childhood photos of the seniors, the students walked across the stage to meet their parents as they were presented with their diploma. Family and friends embraced their student before leaving the stage and high school behind them.
–Story and photos by Cody Sexton