Friday and Saturday were filled with community pride as friends and family gathered to watch local students earn their high school diplomas. There were tears, laughter and a sense of accomplishment and anticipation, as one chapter closed and another opened.
The Post-Record has put together a wrap-up of the festivities from all four schools.
A total of 475 Camas High School graduates shared tears and laughter Friday, just like they have done for the past 2,343 days of learning, succeeding, failing and rising back up to any challenge.
“Thirteen years ago, we all embarked on this adventure of education,” said Senior Class President Caroline Kealoha. “I could not have asked for a better place to grow up. And because of this community, I will always be proud to be a Papermaker.”
Principal Steve Marshall spent the majority of his speech listing off the numerous accomplishments by Papermakers during the school year. Each milestone received a louder applause from the crowd.
“What a year! What a class!” Marshall said. “You’ve cleared 12 years of hurdles together. And tonight, you are all going to graduate.”
Valedictorian Reesab Pathak and Salutation Yun Teng thanked “Spark Notes” and “Wikipedia.” After a round of laughs, they said they wouldn’t be standing on this stage without their parents, teachers and friends.
“While you’re out there changing the world, have no doubts,” Teng said. “I am able to stand here today because I refused to be stopped. I know I’m not the only person here who has done that.”
The CHS Choir performed “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Numanda Lubanga and Jake Ruse gave a touching rendition of the song “More Than Words.”
CHS Teacher of the Year Mark Gardner gave the final speech of the night, before 475 Papermakers took turns accepting their diplomas on stage.
“As long as you are going through new doors, it doesn’t matter what they are marked. As long as you are seeking new opportunities, it doesn’t matter what they are labeled,” Gardner said. “You need to remove ‘just’ from your vocabulary because you are going to do some amazing things.”