Kennewick — Arms locked, shoulder to shoulder, the Southridge High School Suns Class of 2012 marched as a column into the Toyota Arena on Saturday evening while a packed house stood and cheered.
We are going in different directions, said Michelle and Rachael Rehberg, twins who were two of the four valedictorians to address the 313 graduating seniors.
The identical twins then told their classmates to appreciate their differences and go out into the world to make a difference.
Co-valedictorian Randi Andreatta said the class learned many important lessons, not the least being how sweet it is to beat Kamiakin High School at anything.
And Co-valedictorian Megan OLeary assured fellow graduates they each had important traits.
All of us together constitute the class of 2012 as a community, and you all will impact future communities, OLeary said.
Salutatorian Brett Konzek offered advice to the graduating class. Enjoy life. Smile and laugh, he said, and value relationships by showing people you care, he added.
Finally: Dont be hard on yourself. Its the choice you make to get back up that matters, he said.
Geoff Simm, a popular Southridge instructor, reminded the outgoing class to be wise in choices and in attitude, which can make the difference in all circumstances.
Southridge Suns pride echoed through the arena throughout the ceremony, reaching a crescendo when Madysen Fancher, president of the Associated Student Body, thanked her fellow seniors for her four years at Southridge.
I will always be proud of where I came from, proud to be one from under the sun, she said.