If there was one theme that was weaved throughout the Hayes Freedom High School and Excelsior High School graduations this past week, it was that with the right guidance, determination to succeed, and a few strategically timed pushes along the way, goals that once didn’t seem possible can be achieved.
Hayes and Excelsior, the alternative high schools in the Camas and Washougal school districts, respectively, held commencement ceremonies that included tears, laughter and memories proud and challenging moments.
The 51 graduates of HFHS attended commencement at Liberty Middle School on Saturday while Excelsior’s 24 seniors graduated at Washburn Performing Arts Center at Washougal High School.
Excelsior graduate Slayton Smith said he was thankful to his family, and especially the staff at Excelsior for leading him in the right direction.
“The road to graduation for me has been pretty rough,” Smith said. “After freshman year, I didn’t even know if I’d be graduating and now I am one of two speakers.”