As Cedarcrest’s Class of 2014, cloaked and capped for the graduation ceremony moments away, readied themselves for the final hour of their high school career, there were a few minor freak-outs, numerous hugs and wide eyes.
Cedarcrest’s 21st commencement was held Friday, June 13, at Overlake Christian Church in Redmond. For Emily Rule and Tessa Rutledge, who pored over the program minutes before the big event, this moment was exciting and surreal.
“I’m going off to a big city, and I’m not going to know anyone,” said Rutledge. “It’s hard to leave Duvall.”
A few feet away, Logan Wills was more than ready.
Besides a few favorite teachers, Wills is not looking back. “I won’t miss that stupid hallway,” she proclaimed.
“As freshmen, we shared the halls of school with adult children who seemed older, smarter, and cooler than we’ll ever be,” Tiffany Folkes, Cedarcrest’s co-valedictorian, told the audience in her commencement speech, which followed this group through their elementary and middle school days to today.
At Cedarcrest, “we began to go outside the lines, accepting ourselves and expressing ourselves.”
“We finally made it. We crossed the finish line,” said salutatorian Evan Atwater, whose talk, “Yuuuuuuup,” dwelled on inspiration and courage, including the guts to get up in front of the entire school and hundreds of strangers and give a speech.
“It’s not always easy to find something you’re passionate about,” Atwater said. “It’s going to take courage to live the life you want to live.
“I know, after spending most of my life with these people, there are a lot of unique individuals with great ideas, talent and aspirations,” he added. “In the coming years, the world is really going to need all the determined individuality it can get. Let’s not allow what other people think of us to get in the way of of achieving our goals.”
“Join me and let’s take a look at how spelling counts,” announced the faculty speaker, social studies teacher Dan Armstrong. His talk, “Spelling Coutns,” included a slideshow of spelling disasters ranging from goofed billboards to humorously bad tattoos.
Spelling surely does count, Armstrong told his audience, but it’s not the most important factor.
“Neither spelling, algebra, geography nor any other skill or concept that you learned in your years of school is what matters,” he said. “What really matters is that when you’ve struggled to spell something or factor an equation, you’ve learned to overcome that problem, or barring that, to deal with failure.
“You must understand that the main goal of your education has not been to acquire academic skills or to learn things,” he added. “They’re certainly important, and some of them might even help you. What school’s really about is growing, as a person—developing the ability to cope with life’s obstacles, because trust me, most of you ain’t seen nothing yet.”
Courtney Lee helps Bailey Parish get her lei just right.
Logan Wills signs an excited message to Carson Wilk, with Rachel Wilhelm.
Carson Wilk is full grad regalia.
Emily Rule and Tessa Rutledge check out their program
Michael Minh Lai Funk straightens his hat
Ben Gunderson, Colton Green, Ashley Graves & Haley Good;
Hanna Halverson, Kianna Hales & Andrew Gutmann;
Kim Fore and Brielle Rhode emcee;
Tiffany Folkes makes the valedictorian speech
Salutatorian Evan Atwater gives his speech, “Yuuuuuuup”
The CHS Combined Choirs perform "The Night is Young."
Alex Frey, Chris Pipinich and Kevin Robkin sing with the combined choir
Will Schafer, Olivia Waterman & Jake Knoth, a trio performing "Age of Worry."
Jake Knoth plays guitar;
Will Schafer accompanies Olvia Waterman on “Age of Worry”
Superintendent Anthony Smith and Principal Clarence Lavarias receive the class
Makana Viernes takes his diploma
Mackenzie Ward and Alex Ward pump fists after being proclaimed officially graduated.
Grads embrace after walking out of the auditorium
Alex Frey greets her niece Naomi, 3, after receiving her diploma.
"I cant believe we're done!" Alma Rico, walking with Bianca Olvera-Salazar, who calls her mom moments after commencement.
Skyler Martinez takes in the scene after graduation with Ioana Kraft. “I feel emotional, blessed, and very proud that I did this. I had the support of my family,” he said. This summer, he’ll work in construction, then go to college to study law enforcement.