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CHOICE students take the next step

Shelton-Mason County Journal of Shelton, Washington

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CHOICE High School's midyear graduation ceremony on Feb. 11 was a musical affair, with a classic rock flair.

Graduates Preston Rioux, Dakota Richardson and Kamron Owen performed Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here" at the event in the school's auditorium. CHOICE Principal Stacey Anderson quoted the Led Zeppelin song, "Ramble On":

"Leaves are falling all around, If's time I was on my way.

Thanks to you, I'm much obliged for such a pleasant stay.

But now it's time for me to go. The autumn moon lights my way.

For now I smell the rain, and with it pain, and ifs headed my way.

Sometimes I grow so tired, but I know Tve got one thing got to do, ramble on.

And now's the time, the time is now, to sing my song."

Several of the 14 new graduates spoke of how musical bonds with classmates helped keep them in school.

Owen, one of the class speakers, paraphrased Mahatma Gandhi: "A person is but the product of their thoughts. What they think, they become."

"Up until last year, I did not see myself graduating or moving onto college or ever really doing much at all with my life," he said. "When I enrolled in CHOICE, I was fully supported in everything I did, was encouraged to apply to colleges and found a love for art and music that I'd never had before."

Owen added, Today, I'm receiving my diploma and looking forward to college and beyond with hope and optimism that I have only because of the help and support I received here at CHOICE. My journey to graduation wasn't easy, but nobody here's was, and I'm glad to have finished it here at CHOICE, where I was able to make so many friends and memories."

Richardson, also a class speaker, thanked the teachers for sharing their talents and their time.

"You took the time to explain assignments, sometimes repeatedly because we weren't paying attention," he said. "You allowed us to come to your classroom after school for extra help when you could have gone home to spend time with your family. You put in the effort to make lessons more interesting so we wouldn't just time out. You demanded excellence from us whether or not we wanted to give it. You set the bar high and challenged us to live up to it."

Richardson also thanked the school's lunchroom and custodial staffs.

"Thank you for keeping our school clean and safe and keeping students fed every day," he said. "You know better than anyone what slobs we've been. You actually deserve some kind of recognition. Especially the late nights with all the garbage and food."

For all the people who helped the graduates, "We'll pay that debt of gratitude forward," he said.

The graduates also included Larain Algea, Raney Baker, Sammantha Baker, Amber Darland, Joey Hatley, Jeremiah Johnson Jr., Skyla Kenmir, Eryn Muenchow, Christine Smith, Zane Taylor and Brette Workman.

The ceremony concluded with the graduates covering their principal in silly string on stage.

The year-end CHOICE graduation ceremony is on June 9.

Copyright 2016 Shelton-Mason County Journal, Shelton, Washington. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from SmallTownPapers, Inc.

Original Publication Date: February 18, 2016

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