Kamiak grads ready to keep climbing

480 students earn high school degrees June 16
By Nicholas Johnson | Jun 20, 2017
Photo by: Nicholas Johnson Mukilteo’s graduating class of 2017 – all 1,047 of them – reveled in the final act of their high school career during ceremonies held last week. Parents and friends filled the stands, snapping photos and waving signs as graduates walked the stage to claim their diplomas. Above, Isaiah Shigematsu, left, Anna Gold and Keaton Layman sing the Kamiak Fight Song.

Graduates in Kamiak’s class of 2017 might have thought they were done with all those stairs.

“On the contrary,” Student Speaker Maryevva Craggs told her 479 fellow Kamiak High School graduates June 16 at Xfinity Center in Everett.

“Our hike up those steps is far from over. Really, it is only just beginning. Because once we finally get to the third floor, we find that there is actually a top-secret fourth floor up ahead.”

Reaching the top, she said, is not what really matters.

“What matters is that you have the energy and the courage to set out on your hike and take it one step at a time.

“Today, we are all embarking on our own journeys, each of us on a new staircase, toward a different destination and a different goal,” she said, imploring her fellow graduates to not settle for a job, but instead consider the bigger picture.

“Ask yourself, ‘How will I have a positive impact on the world?’ Because no matter what you do, or where you do it, you can make a difference, and you will if you only try.”

Fellow Student Speaker Katelyn Huguenin reflected on the people in her life who helped her get to this point, concluding that it really does take a village to raise a child. She challenged each of her fellow graduates to consider the villages that helped them succeed, then she flipped the script.

“As I’ve been thinking about all those who have been my village, I’ve realized they have now passed me the baton,” Huguenin said. “It’s now my job to go and be the village for others.”

She extended the same baton to her classmates.

“When I look out at this class of 2017, I see future parents and grandparents, I see aunts and uncles, I see teachers and coaches, and bosses and leaders. I see neighbors, I see police officers and firefighters,” she said. “I guess what I’m saying is I see a village of people who can take the baton and some day pass it on.”

Senior choir members performed The Jackson 5’s “I’ll Be There.”

Principal Mike Gallagher complimented the class of 2017 for embodying the spirit of community, especially its efforts to unify Kamiak and Mariner high schools.

“You proposed to schedule both the boys and girls varsity basketball games within the same week, and to follow with a culminating Unified Sports basketball game,” he said.

“It was a most amazing example of community. People went away from those games feeling good about themselves and all that they saw and experienced.”

Gallagher told his students they had reached this milestone together.

“You sought ways to make your community a richer place, not by seeking the lime light but by banding together behind the scenes,” he said.

“Together, you stand this evening a force to be reckoned with, and you exit tonight together as a community, ready to conquer the world.”

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