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CHOICE students: Always trust your cape

Shelton-Mason County Journal of Shelton, Washington

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On June 9 after Thomas Puree, the keynote speaker at the CHOICE High School graduation and the former president of The Evergreen State College, doled out words of advice he whipped out a guitar. He sang the 50 graduates two songs by Guy Clark.

The first tune, "The Cape" he sang in honor of his daughters.

"Well she's one of those who knows that life is just a leap of faith," he crooned. "Spread your arms and hold your breath and always trust your cape. Yes, she's one of those who knows that life is just a leap of faith. Spread your arms and hold your breath and always trust your cape."

Puree was just one of the highlights of the CHOICE High School graduation at the Shelton High School Performing Arts Center.

After Puree was Sue Barnard, an English teacher who retired Barnard said one week ago she found 1,000 paper cranes in her room that were related to the story "Sadako and the Thousand Paper

Cranes" by Eleanor Coerr. It is a fictional retelling of a story about a girl named Sadakio who lived in Hiroshima during the atomic bombing. After Sadako is diagnosed with leukemia, she tries to make 1,000 paper cranes so she can be granted one wish according to a Japanese legend.

Barnard used the cranes as a metaphor for the graduating students.

"Some of you arrived broken and cockeyed," she said. "You have healed and gained you strength. You survived math. You have been mended. Fly with elegance and grace. Take flight."

Following Barnard were five students who either spoke or sang a song. The final speaker was Brendan Bentcik, the school's ASB president.

"My challenge to you is to do all you can do to reach your full potential," he said. "The future is now in our hands. Make the most of it."

Several students also received scholarships from the Shelton Lions Club, the Kristmas Town Kiwanas Club, the Yesteryear Car Club and from the Teresa Johnson Memorial Scholarship. The Teresa Johnson Memorial Scholarship gave away $6,500.

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Original Publication Date: June 16, 2016

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