CHS class of 2013 celebrates its achievements

A shared experience

CHS graduates are all smiles after receiving their diplomas and walking across the stage to loud cheers from family and friends.

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From left, CHS salutatorions Triton Pitassi and Nicholas Napier, and valedictorian Jake Hsu give short but sweet speeches at commencement ceremonies Friday at Doc Harris Stadium.

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Katelynne Jones sings "You Raise Me Up," to cheers, tears and a standing ovation at commencement ceremonies Friday night.

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Danielle/Frost/Post-Record The CHS class of 2013 celebrates Friday night at Doc Harris Stadium.

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CHS seniors express gratitude to their friends and family members for helping them reach graduation night. “Graduation is a shared experience and in a way, a shared achievement,” Principal Steve Marshall said.

All four high schools in Camas and Washougal recently held their graduation ceremonies. Post-Record reporters were on hand to capture the special moments.

Camas High School

Cheers, tears and laughter could be heard throughout Doc Harris Stadium Friday night, where more than 500 proud Papermakers participated in commencement ceremonies.

The class of 2013 is not only the largest class ever in school history, but it is also the first senior class to compete at the 4A level, and set a new record for scholarships, with approximately $9.3 million amassed.

Principal Steve Marshall’s speech focused on how the world has changed in the past 50 years.

“Despite all the difficulties, it has improved,” he said. “There have always been problems, threats and the thought that the next generation is always inadequate. Good thing none of us believed that. You will always run into people who think the world is a dark and cold place, but I believe there is a silver lining, and that is you. If you choose to believe this, your future can be as bright as the promise I see before me.”

Class valedictorian Jake Hsu, and salutatorians Triton Pitassi and Nickolas Napier gave a joint speech, which was probably one of the shortest in CHS history.

“Uncertainty is just another word for opportunity,” Hsu said. “If we persevere, we have a bright future ahead of us.”

Pitassi added some comedic flair, stringing together the lyrics of different songs to make a point.

“Be prepared, don’t worry, be happy and we’ll all be home for Christmas,” he said as the crowd chuckled.

Added Napier, “We’ve all accomplished so much already. With dedication and hard work, we have infinite potential.”

The class of 2013 chose Christi Bridges, Advanced Placement U.S. government and politics teacher, as the commencement speaker.

Bridges gathered input from several teachers to use in her speech, which included such advice as choose a career you love no matter what the salary, be nonconformist, individual thinkers and to exercise frequently or see ever-expanding pants sizes in the future.

“You make your own luck,” she added. “Don’t wait for good things to find you. Don’t expect life to be fair. Give up on expecting it and make your own luck. Grab opportunity with both hands.”

After receiving their diplomas, the newly minted graduates were told to turn and face the stands, and thank the people who had helped them along the way.

“Graduation is a shared experience, and in a way, a shared achievement,” Marshall said. “Although our seniors walk across the stage individually, I know that there is a group of parents, friends and family members that is beside them every step of the way, just as they have been for the past 13 years of school.”