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Marysville-Pilchuck High School honors Class of 2016


Christopher Andersson

Marysville-Pilchuck High School graduating seniors throw their caps in the air to celebrate being official graduates during the school's commencement ceremony on June 15.

The Marysville-Pilchuck High School Class of 2016 celebrated their years of hard work to get to graduation during their commencement ceremony on June 15.

"We are here today, after 13 years of schooling, countless tests, late nights, tears, frustrations, and all that for a chance to walk across this stage and receive our diplomas," said M-PHS graduating senior Claire Dobler.

Many of the students will be leaving a school that they've built many memories at.

Class president Sam Watson said the relationships he's made through the football team will always stick with him.

"Now that I'm here, about to move into the world, I realize I will remember everything to do with football at Marysville-Pilchuck, because it is there where I met some of my closest friends, where I was introduced to my greatest role models and where I found a home at high school," he said.

"I will never forget two-a-day practices in the middle of July, where we would eat pounds of watermelon and work our butts off, or the lineman meetings everyday at 2:45 sharp," he said.

Class speaker Alisha Purdom said that time seemed to go quickly once at high school.

"Doesn't it feel like we were freshman just yesterday? We spent all of our elementary and middle school years waiting for high school," she said.

"We met our best friends, experienced our first love, our first heartbreak and our first bad grade," she said.

Valedictorian Khanh Stitsel only spent one year at the school, but said it has been a great experience.

"I would like to say thank you for creating such an amazing and enjoyable environment for me for the past nine months," he said.

This M-PHS class is also one that was forced to deal with tragedy two years ago when a school shooting disrupted their lives.

"We experienced an amount of loss in a matter of seconds than most do in their entire lives," said Purdom.

She said it is easy to let those experiences affect you.

"Being aware of these things gives us an opportunity to be bitter when we look back. Were we robbed of the ideal high school experience? And does that even really exist?" she asked.

However Purdom said she is "proud" of the class and what they have become, and said they have come out with strength and compassion that they should carry forward.

After walking across the stage and receiving their diploma, many students will be entering an unfamiliar world.

Christopher Andersson

Marysville-Pilchuck High School valedictorian Collin Paulk gives a speech during the school's commencement ceremony on June 15.

"Whether you're going to college next year or not, you need to go out there and present yourself in some way," said valedictorian Collin Paulk. "Some will go out and help their community, others will spend all their free time working as an intern."

Because they are going out into a new world, Amanda Kalab said it feels like they no longer need a lot of the experience they've gained.

"We no longer need a guide to surviving high school, because all of us sitting here have survived," she said.

"For example, I no longer need to give up dressing nice because some architect decided that a California-style school in Washington was practical," she said, referring to the school's open-style design.

But even though the class is leaving the school, Kalab said, those experiences will remain.

"We've gathered a wealth of knowledge in high school and just because we are leaving, doesn't mean the learning stops," she said.


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