The Chiawana High School class of 2013 became the first seniors to complete all four years at the school when they received their diplomas Saturday in front of thousands at Edgar Brown Memorial Stadium in Pasco.
They were the first-ever freshman class at the school, which opened in 2009.
Valedictorian Jamie Steach called her classmates “pure bred Riverhawks.”
“This class of 2013, specifically, is the bridge between the past and the future,” she said.
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Chiawana Principal Teri Kessie has used the same graduation speech for the past 10 years, she said, but this group of seniors meant so much to her and the school that she decided to write a new one.
“I want you all to know that you made my dream a reality,” she said. “You not only left your mark on the school, but on me as well.”
More than 85 scholars in the 2013 class earned more than $2.5 million in scholarship money.
Salutatorian Rachel Leavens spoke to her classmates about the growth she has seen in herself and the class as a whole.
“Through these four years, I have become someone,” she said. “We all have become someone.”