For Coupeville High School’s graduating class of 2014, its small size doesn’t reflect the big impact it has had and will have in the community.
With 61 students setting out into the world, Coupeville’s graduation ceremony was filled with fond memories and hopes for the future.
“There’s so much to say, so little time and so many ways to say it,” said co-valedictorian Heni Barnes. “I’ve watched so many of my peers grow first-hand.”
Barnes spoke of her time throughout the district, how she became fascinated by education and the friendships she’s maintained through the years.
It’s those friends who help shape the person.
Barnes plans on attending the University of Alaska at Fairbanks and later the University of Wisconsin and isn’t the only student whose fascination with education has served them well.
Of the graduating seniors, 46 percent of them plan on attending a four year college, 27 percent plan on attending a two year college and two percent will attend a technical school.
A combined 8 percent are planning on joining the Navy and Air Force.
Combined, the graduating class has earned nearly $550,000 in merit-based and community sponsored scholarships.
Many of students were actively involved in the school groups and community organizations.
Of the scholarship dollars earned, more than $106,00 were from the community.
And what’s all that hard work without some fun mixed in?
Co-salutorians Brett Arnold and Ben Haight brought the fun with their joint speech, pausing to take a cell phone “selfie.”
The pair talked about graduation being scary, but liberating.
There are no excuses now, they said.
And now they’ll have to do their own laundry.
Friday’s graduation ceremony reflected years of having a close-knit community.
Tom Black, the dean of students, said he met most of the graduating seniors seven years prior.
“They’ve gone from boys and girls to men and women,” he said. “They’ve taken the time and respect and fortitude to work through issues.
“Most of these kids are comfortable in their own skin. They’ve found their stride,” he added. “Give them the opportunity, the patience to grow — find the world.”
The other co-valedictorian, Jared Dickson, shared his comparison of a recent fishing expedition with being prepared in life.
There are those who come prepared with Dramamine, while others get sick.
Then there are those who stand, with one hand firmly planted on the rail and both eyes fixed on the horizon.
“High school is just the beginning,” he said. “We have boarded the boat and are ready to leave.”