Samuel Stephens’ favorite place at Kennewick High School was seated in the student section.
The school’s 2012 salutatorian was proud to be a Lion rooting for his classmates both in academics and at sporting events, particularly this year’s football, volleyball, soccer, basketball and track teams.
But now that his four years are up, Stephens told his fellow graduates Saturday morning they must say good-bye to Friday night football games, painting their faces orange and black and a host of other memories.
The 289 seniors who received a diploma now take on the responsibility of representing Kennewick High.
“The goal is to make others proud,” he said.
Kennewick’s commencement kicked off another day of ceremonies at the Toyota Center.
Valedictorian Dayna Bolt said what makes them unique is their paths all intersected in one place — high school.
“Some may say the past four years will be the best of our lives, and for others it was the worst,” Bolt said. “ Seniors, look around. This may be the last time we’re all together.”
Comparing the journey to driving on a freeway, Bolt said it is a scary time “taking control of our own vehicles and merging into traffic.” However, there will be signs along the way and they must choose to take the first exit, the scenic route or stop for supplies as they continue on.
“Regardless which exit one takes, all of our journeys are going to be different,” Bolt said.
The senior class gave a table and chairs to the school to be placed outside the Lions Den for future Lions to enjoy. The graduates also filled out questionnaires which will be placed in a time capsule and returned to them at their 30th reunion.