North County Outlook - Community newspaper serving Marysville, Arlington, Tulalip, Smokey Point, Lakewood

AHS celebrates Class of 2017


Christopher Andersson

Arlington High School graduating seniors turn their tassels during the school's graduation on June 15.

About 350 graduates from Arlington High School walked on stage to receive their diploma at the Xfinity Arena in Everett on June 15 during the graduation ceremonies for the Class of 2017.

Valedictorian Drake King said students are celebrating a lot of hard work.

"We are celebrating the completion of 13 years full of math worksheets, persuasive essays and average novels," he said.

"For some of us, those 13 years have been torture. For others, they have been a blast," he said.

At the end of the day though, King said, this will be the end of a relationship for many.

"The fact of the matter is that this is the last time we will be together as one group. I will probably not talk to most of you ever again," he said.

Arlington School District Superintendent Chrys Sweeting said she was impressed with the school's seniors since before she was officially hired last summer.

"Last June, my superintendent interview process was highlighted by a wonderful tour from several Arlington High School juniors," she said. "I was impressed with their energy and general kindness."

Since then Sweeting has had more opportunities to see, interact, and get to know them.

"I have seen excellence, even in the quiet moments, with students supporting each other and caring for each other," she said.

Arlington High School principal Christine Hinojosa told students to think of their graduation as a beginning.

"This may feel like an ending, but a commencement is, in fact, not an end. 'Commence' is to begin and I challenge you to see tonight as a rite of passage, to see each other and the opportunities before you in a new light," she said.

Valedictorian Morgan Bryson said that taking those next steps can be intimidating.

"We've all been told to have this high school and beyond plan, but many of us aren't ready for the world out there, I know I'm not," she said.

But students said that they should expect setbacks and trials along their road.

"One thing's for sure, and this is going to sound pretty cliche, so I apologize, but if you don't take risks in life you'll never experience rejection, but you'll also never experience pride, happiness, pride, satisfaction, happiness or most of all success," said Nicholas Mendro, valedictorian and ASB president for the school.

Valedictorian Madison Schimpf said that troubles will come along the path.

Christopher Andersson

Arlington High School graduate and ASB president Nicholas Mendro gives his valedictorian speech during the school's graduation on June 15.

"There will be hardships and trials," she said.

"If trials and failures are seen as opportunities for growth, we can get back up again and use those failures as stepping stones to success," she said.

Students also encouraged each other to remember the small, but important, community that they came from.

"We must always remember the time here in Arlington, with its staff, its program and its support," said valedictorian Christina Domanowski.

"Arlington has granted us the will to be successful and prosperous in life," she said.

Valedictorian Morgan Bryson wanted to show appreciation for all the help she received as well.

"To all my friends and family in the audience, thank you, I could have never made it through high school without you. You were always there for me even when I refused to ask for help," she said.


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