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M-P's Class of 2018 honored


Christopher Andersson

Marysville-Pilchuck High School graduating seniors turn their tassels at the end of the school's Commencement Ceremony on June 13.

Hundreds of students from Marysville-Pilchuck High School got their diploma during the school's graduation on June 13.

The students in the school's Class of 2018 had to endure more than most because of the Oct. 24, 2014, shooting which took the lives of several students who would have graduated with them.

"Freshman year we walked into our new school with so many plans and things to look forward to. But that excitement and innocence was stripped from us not even two months into our first year," said student-selected speaker Brianna Jason.

Jason said the shooting will always be a part of the class.

"I know, for me, I never expected to be asked, at 14, to write a eulogy for a lifelong friend who I thought would be graduating with me today," she said.

She also wanted to thank those who helped her through.

"The connections I made with friends and teachers will be there forever and I will always appreciate them talking with me, laughing with me and even crying with me," she said.

The students who passed four years ago were honored at the ceremony.

"The empty chair you see in the front row is in memory of those we lost," said class president Susana Barbosa.

"We will carry their memory as we walk across the stage tonight," she said.

Becky Berg, the former superintendent of the Marysville School District who retired this May, said she was inspired by the resilience of the class.

"We've been through so much together and this is my last chance to formally address you," she said.

Halfway through her speech she revealed the shirt she was wearing which said 'Not. One. More. Enough is Enough.' and encouraged students and parents to advocate for better and safer schools.

"I used to say our shooting doesn't define us, but maybe it does. Maybe it's our chance to take a mess and turn it into a message," she said.

Student speakers also encouraged graduates to go out into the world and make a difference.

"I can't wait to see what impact we make in this world," said Barbosa. "You are leaving a legacy of strength and resiliency."

"Now is the time to realize our potential and create dreams and goals," said valedictorian Sarah Turral.

School Resource Officer Chris Sutherland shared his own story after graduation. "College didn't go too well for me and I had to get a full-time job," he said, eventually working for Coca Cola and Pepsi before becoming a police officer.

Christopher Andersson

Class president and graduating senior Susana Barbosa gives a speech during the Marysville-Pilchuck High School Commencement Ceremony on June 13.

"I tell you all this so that you know you don't have to know exactly what you want to do yet," he said.

Even with the opportunity to move forward, it was still a bittersweet night for many at the graduation who felt they would be leaving a major chapter of their life behind.

"M-P has always been a special place to me ever since I was a little girl. We used to go to the pool for open swim and birthday parties, cheer on the athletes at the football and basketball games, go to plays and shows and just explore the campus," said Turral.

Student speakers also wanted to thank their teachers and staff who supported them through their schooling.

"They helped us to mold us into adults so we can give a positive impact to society," said valedictorian Nathan Novy.

"It is not by chance we are here today, but because of the people who pushed us and encouraged us and our own hard work," said Turral.


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