Saturday’s graduation ceremonies at Tri-Cities Prep in Pasco began with a prayer.
Salutatorian Peter Rodriguez asked his 30 fellow classmates to “thank God for the gift of a new life ... and for leading them from being awkward freshmen to competent, compassionate seniors.”
Greeting the crowd, Principal Arlene Jones thanked the parents and relatives of the 30 graduates “for the ultimate trust, letting us educate this group of young people.”
All will be attending college next year, many locally, but one will be heading to The Citadel in South Carolina, another to Trinity Western University in Canada.
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In all, Jones said, “our graduates have accepted $1.4 million in scholarships. That’s over $43,000, on average, for each student.”
The class of 2012, the 11th to graduate from Tri-Cities Prep, also included an exchange student, Pascal Breitenstein from Zurich, Switzerland.
Valedictorian Kelcey McBride compared her classmates’ lives to a book, saying “we’ve gotten partway through, and all of a sudden the rest of the pages are blank ... and that can be terrifying. For many of us, the future is an amorphous blob, requiring too many choices and holding too many options.”
“But the thing about the future is that, as scary as it can be, it’s always there, and it will always have something to offer us. It presents us with nearly endless potential for growth and achievement,” McBride said.
Student elected speaker Alexxis Valencia kept her talk light and upbeat, telling her classmates that “our differences are what makes this class great. We’re an eclectic sandwich ... the crazy ones.”
“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round heads in the square holes. The ones who see things differently ... the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do,” she said.