Powerful beyond measure: Two Rivers Class of 2013 works hard to get major milestone | Photo gallery

  - Kira Clark/Staff Photo
— image credit: Kira Clark/Staff Photo

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, it is that we are powerful beyond measure,” Principal Amy Montanye-Johnson told the 22 graduates of Two Rivers School’s 26th graduating class, as they awaited their diplomas.

“It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.”

Two Rivers School marked its 26th commencement Wednesday, June 5, at the Chief Kanim Middle School commons. Based in North Bend, Two Rivers is a choice school, where teachers emphasize goal-setting and personal responsibility. Middle and high school students who prefer smaller school environment over a typical high schools come here to earn their diplomas. To get them, every graduate fulfilled 22 credits, met state testing requirements and completed a senior project. Each student took responsibility for their goals, said Johnson.

“You demonstrated commitment through hard work and persistence, that’s what got you here tonight,” the principal said.

The evening began with a short video created by the Leadership Class. Introduced and presented by Joey and Dimitri Pinto, the film captured the day-to-day life of Two Rivers School: Class sizes are small, students have respect for each other and faculty, and teachers demonstrated a genuine love of their students.

Joey Pinto explained why some people are wary of Two Rivers—until they know better.

“Sometimes people might try to be tough and act out when they first come here because they are afraid,” said Pinto. “We want to show people what Two Rivers is really like.”

“This graduation means a lot to me,” said Dimitri Pinto. “It’s like a new beginning.”  Joey and Dimitri are members of the Leadership class. Along with fellow Two Rivers graduate Dylan Cook, the Pintos have a band.

The Band, Sundaes on Monday, formed in 2010 and released its first five-song album in the summer of 2011. Sundaes on Mondays has performed live 10 times, and placed second out of 50 bands during the Seattle Battle of the Bands. All the band members are excited to graduate and focus on their musical careers.

Joey Pinto, Alexis VanWolvelaere and Cortney Harris were awarded the Robert B. Taylor Memorial Scholarship. Taylor’s family lives in the Snoqualmie Valley. They wanted to honor his legacy as an alternative school educator by supporting worthy Two Rivers graduating students.

Patrick Brown, who will be attending boot camp with the U.S Marine Corps, said that Two Rivers brought him great friends and countless irreplaceable memories. He thanked the school secretary, Candi Shreve, for greeting him with a smile each morning as he walked through the door and his math teacher, Wendy Williams, for forcing him to do his homework. Williams described Brown as having a presence and a larger-than-life personality.

“Thoughtful, intelligent, determined, sincere, and fiercely protective,” said Williams. “Those are just a few of the characteristics that describe Patrick.” While in school, Brown wrote Williams encouraging notes and helped in her math class.

“Be safe,” Williams said to Brown. “You will accomplish great things with your life and the world needs you.”

Two Rivers art teacher Michael Schmidt said that graduate Amber Matthews far exceeded his expectations. Schmidt described Matthews as fun-natured, skilled and imaginative. When she came out to volunteer on the school play, Schmidt knew Matthews would be committed. He didn’t realize that she would assist him with every aspect of the play, from designing and making costumes to managing the backstage.

“She was everywhere, doing everything,” Schmidt said. “She hopes to pursue a career in the arts and I am sure she will achieve those goals.”

With tears in her eyes, Matthews thanked Two Rivers School for being there for her.

“Without this school I would not be graduating today,” Matthews said. “Without my family and friends I could not do this.”

Graduates of the Two Rivers Class of 2013 are Olivia Barragan, Michaela Blad, Zacharia Boelter, Cheyenne Bronson, Patrick Brown, Dylan Cook, Theodora Dawson, Jordin Forgey, Cortney Harris, Hannah Larson, Amber Matthews, Colin McCartney, Darian Michaud, Taylor Mosier, Dimitri Pinto, Joey Pinto, Tyler Powers, Jarad Rieke, Ike Turner, Alexis Wolwelaere, Madison Wachter, and Ashley Witt.

Joey and Dimitri Pinto, members of the Two Rivers Leadership class, present a class video on real life at the choice school.


Two Rivers graduate Cortney Harris walks up to the stage holding a rose during the June 4 processional.

Above, Joe Galagan shares his words with the Two Rivers graduating class.

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