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AHS celebrates Class of 2016

 

Christopher Andersson

Arlington High School students stand during the opening ceremonies of the school's commencement ceremony on June 12.

Arlington High School's Class of 2016 received their diploma and graduated on June 12 during the school's commencement ceremony at Xfinity Arena in Everett.

For much of the senior class, it was a long journey to get to this point.

"High school is a vigorous journey we all travel," said valedictorian Andraya Albright in her address.

Some parts of the journey are just minor annoyances.

"I don't think anyone will miss having to spring out to their car to get out of the parking lot before 3," said valedictorian Emaline Modahl.

No one will miss the hallways either, she said, "with people stopping in the middle to text or make out, and holding up everyone behind them."

Other parts of the high school journey have been tougher, like losing one of their classmates Samantha Weldon.

"Senior Samantha Weldon's life was cut tragically short in February, and it is with a heavy heart that we have struggled this spring to how best to honor Sammy's life, on what should be her graduation today," said Arlington High School principal Brian Beckley.

Weldon's family members in attendance accepted an honorary diploma from the high school during the ceremony.

Albright talked about her own personal losses during her speech as well.

"At the end of September my grandfather passed away unexpectedly. Being the first main loss from my family, it took a huge toll on all of us," she said.

Her own journey included her struggles with an eating disorder as well.

"Instead of solidifying my relationships like a normal sophomore I pushed people away, because that was easier than facing the reality of my situation," she said.

"I spent that year spiraling deeper and deeper into my disorder, only finally agreeing to get help when my sister and I were driving to work and she started bawling," she said.

Valedictorian Emma Janousek said that in times of struggle the community really came together.

"In times of such catastrophes, never did we hang our head or turn our back. We rallied together, grieved with our arms around our shoulders and picked our Arlington family members up onto their feet," she said.

There were triumphs for the Class of 2016 as well.

"It's really easy to see what an amazing year we've had this year in Arlington," said Beckley.

Their jazz band earned honors at the Reno Jazz Festival and the cast of Pippin earned a record number of nominations and brought home state awards.

Sports teams went to state competitions including a fourth-place finish for girls soccer, third place for boys cross country, second place for girls basketball and for the first time ever, state champions in wrestling.

And now the time many seniors have been waiting for has arrived.

Christopher Andersson

Arlington High School students enter the Everett Xfinity Arena during the opening ceremonies of the school's commencement ceremony on June 12.

"As we visualized what this day would look like, we visualized what our world could be like," said valedictorian Raiven Yoes.

"During these last few weeks there have been a lot of laughs, goodbyes and memorabilia to remember it by," she said.

And with that come a variety of emotions.

"Some of us are excited, some of us are sad, and some of us have no idea how to feel," said Modahl.

"These are the people we have seen and talked to everyday since elementary school that we may never see again," she said.

Beckley congratulated the class and encouraged them to go into the world.

"You have worked incredibly hard to get here, and you should be proud of that. Now comes the fun part," he said.

At the same time Janousek said that their experience in their hometown will never really leave them.

"The time we spent in Arlington has become a piece of us," she said.

 

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