June 5, 2011

. pursue happiness Class of 2011 .

On Friday, CHS graduated 104 seniors. I am going to really miss these guys (I think I say that every year!).

I was fortunate to get to read names as they received their diplomas, along with Len Hershman who was also the selected class speaker. This was the second time I've gotten to do that and it's definitely a highlight of my job.

(I borrowed some pictures from the Tri-City Herald online photo gallery!)

The senior class gave Len this crayon with all of their signatures. He has a tradition of giving them each a crayon at the end of school with a quip about smelling a crayon and remembering carefree childhood days.

Mr. Peterson giving Irineo Salas the Citizenship Award.

Kraymer Eppich also receiving the Citizenship Award. There wasn't a picture of Kate Hawk receiving hers - but I was excited to get to share with her that I also received that award at my own graduation!

I was so glad to see this picture on the photo gallery. The focus is on Makenna Rowley posing for her "receiving diploma" picture - but in the background is April Hadley & I hugging after she received her diploma. I am really going to miss April. I admire her so much for having perseverence and for always working hard to get what she wants. Life was not kind to April in her childhood, but you would never know it by looking at her now. She inspires me with her cheerfulness and encouragement. She doesn't let much get her down even though it would be real easy to be bitter about what she's had to endure. I can't even put into words to explain how proud I am of her!

I love this picture of Eduardo Landa and Maci Whitby - they were an unlikely walking partnership and we gave them a bad time at grad practice that we always knew they had somehting going on! :)

A shot of April, Kendall, & all their fans that came to celebrate graduation!

My girl Kate Hawk made it into the Tri-City Herald! This was the picture that represented CHS's graduation. She's hugging her softball buddy, Kayla Bjorge. I am going to miss Kate coming into my office and giving me a hug and telling me a funny story. And drawing pictures for my door. :) She is leaving on Monday morning with Kellie DeRuwe to go to Jackson, Mississippi for the summer to do a "mission-ship" (as we tagged it) - a mission trip and internship. I am so proud of them for continuing on with mission work and continuing to work to help others. It's going to be a great experience.

Me & Kellie DeRuwe - Kellie & I have a long history beginning with me being her babysitter when she was just 1 1/2 or 2 years old. Through the years, she stayed with me at Whitworth overnight when she was just 7, went on a family vacation with my family, I was her confirmation mentor, youth group leader, CAPS teacher, and got to be her school counselor too. I am so glad to get to call her a friend now. I am proud of her for getting involved in high school and making the most of every moment.

Ali Erickson, also known as the class's salutatorian. Her speech was quoted in the Tri-City Herald as she encouraged her classmates to pursue happiness - which is just what I would've expected Ali to tell them. As she was speaking, Len leaned over and said, "I've never seen her without a smile on, have you?" She is the most cheerful and happy person I know. I love her sarcastic and dry humor. I will miss her and Kate coming during their office aide hour and jumping in front of my door to annouce their arrival.

I gotta figure out how to rotate this picture. This is Hunter Davidson, the 1st Valedictorian of Chiawana High School. He went to Connell HS for his freshman and sophomore years and was in my CAPS class. (I wish I could've gotten a big group picture with all of them!) He transferred to Chiawana when it opened last year and has continued to excel. I was so excited to see him on Friday night - not so excited that he about knocked me over!

This is Dallin Benson...he was also in my CAPS class. I didn't know him or his family well and was so embarrassed when, in CAPS class, Dallin cracked his head open while fighting to catch a piece of candy I tossed at him. They had a work day and I was tossing them candy if they were on task and working hard. I said, "Dallin, heads up" and the boy sitting next to him dove for the candy, knocking Dallin into the corner of the trophy case in the old breezeway. His head immediately started bleeding and I had another student take him to the office. I felt HORRIBLE. I called his mom that afternoon to apologize...thus started our friendship!

I have enjoyed getting to know Dallin over the past few years...he has matured a lot and is a great person to be around. He's headed off on his mission next month - can't believe it!

Dallin's parents got front row seats in the seat drawing - so his Mom was able to get this picture. I told Dallin "no handshake, I get a hug!"

I found a few more pictures to add that I found on my new friends' Facebook pages! (I have a policy that I will not be friends with any students at CHS until they as of today, I have about 6 new friends!)

I love this picture of Ali & Kate & I - thanks for taking it Jennifer! This was in the "coliseum" before graduation.

Oh Crystal....I had so much fun getting to know Crystal, especially through Junior Miss. As Elizabeth's younger sister, that's what I knew her as (and Kellie's BFF). I love this girl!

Makenna Rowley and I - Makenna was one of the three valedictorians representing the Class of 2011. I have really loved getting to know Makenna over the past few years. She is such a joy to be around! I think I've written about Makenna and her family on my blog before, but here goes again. :) Makenna's brother David graduated a few years ago and he would always bring me a jar of their family's homemade jam for Christmas and at the end of the school year. (Love it!) When he graduated, he promised that Makenna would carry that on and she did! I am appreciative of their thoughtfulness - but I really just enjoy them! 

Me & Kate at her party yesterday...we were having a good time giving Kate a bad time for...anything really. :) I can't say enough how much I'll miss her!

These graduates are going to acomplish so much in these next few years and especially over their lifetime. I can't wait to see where life leads them!

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