Class of ’09 graduates

The waving man waved, the teacher of the year mimed his message, and 132 graduates were granted their diplomas at Saturday's 2009 Commencement Ceremony at Brookings-Harbor High School.

Graduates, wearing lei, feather boas and duck slippers, made their way through a gauntlet of parental paparazzi to reach their seats.

Principal Bryan Wood welcomed the Class of 2009, and thanked their parents for sharing their children for the last 18 years or so.

Ninety percent of the class already had plans, including work, military, and, for 84 percent of those students those plans include more schooling.

"It is proof our standards are high," Wood said. The graduates "are diverse and talented young adults."

A large number of those students are going on to vocational education, while others will be entering a community college or university.

School Board Member Ken Caylor introduced Co-Valedictorians Kayla Hamm and Zoey Silver and Salutatorian Kyle Byers.

"I'm not moving out because I don't want to be with you, Mom and Dad," Byers joked. "I don't think the girls think it's cool."

Silver had a more serious message.

"Every new beginning is another beginning's end," she told her classmates.

Silver set out a list of how to use that new beginning to best advantage.

Hamm touched on her experiences in school, her family and how she will miss Brookings.

"I love being able to make it anywhere in less than five minutes," she said.

Senior members of Sea Breeze, the school jazz choir, performed "Graduation," by Vitamin C, as a message to their classmates.

"As we go on, we remember./All the times we, had together./And as our lives change, from whatever./We will still be, friends forever."

Teacher of the Year Art Dingle didn't say a word, he let the class say it for him, through charades.

"I love you," he acted out, and class shouted in response.

Keynote speaker Ira Tozer, Brookings' "waving man," walked out andndash; waving.

"I have found the fountain of youth," Tozer said. "It is the children."

The sun came out to shine on the graduates during roll call, and a half-dozen beach balls appeared and bounced between them in a celebratory bit of fun.

The class honored the memory of Kaitlyn Wallace, who would have graduated with them had she survived her battle with cancer. Wallace died April 24, 2008.

As each graduate walked off of the stage they were handed a pebble from a local beach. One by one, Wallace's classmates dropped their pebbles into a vase under her portrait.

The portrait and vase were to be given to Wallace's family.

The Curry Coastal Pilot
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