Hayes Freedom High School graduation

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Hayes Freedom High School

Principal Amy Holmes described the 2013 Hayes Freedom High School graduates as “smart, talented and strong-willed.”

‘It took some of you a while to see yourselves the way I see you,” she said.

Holmes said this class holds a special place in her heart.

“I am not ready to let you go,” she said. “But you are ready and you need to go. It is time for you to take your place in the world. Please do so honorably, truly and without regrets.”

Forty students were part of the 2013 graduating class. Camas School District Deputy Superintendent Jeff Snell said he appreciated the opportunity to be one of the people who hands out diplomas.

“I wish everyone had the chance to see the graduates just before we give them their diplomas,” Snell said. “It’s an amazing sight. You can see the culmination of all their hard work, all their hopes and dreams in that one moment.”

The ceremony included a speech from teacher Daniel Harvey, which focused on providing four pieces of advice for the graduates. This included finding meaning and flow to life, truly experiencing what the world has to offer — good and bad — and interacting with others in a way that is “level” — with the perspective that no person is better or worse than anyone else.

“You are unique, you have skills, you have a role and we want you to believe this,” he said.

Several students also spoke to the crowd that gathered at Liberty Middle School on Saturday.

Senior Tiffani Pekkala described how Hayes Freedom provides an environment where students have the freedom to be themselves, and be individuals.

“Hayes Freedom nurtures character,” she said.