Vashon High School’s class of 2015 graduated under sunny skies on Saturday at the high school stadium. The ceremony, in turns spirited, funny and solemn, featured several speeches. In an opening address, Principal Danny Rock said he has been impressed at how this year’s graduating class — 127 students in all — has handled both academic challenges as well as personal ones. “School is both preparation for life, and it is life itself,” he said.
History teacher Jason Butler, chosen by students as the faculty speaker, gave a speech filled with quips and jokes. “I will miss most of you, but all of you make me a better person,” he said. He encouraged graduates to be true to themselves and to be open to finding their vocations — not their jobs, but their callings. “Without the development of character and the inner you, you likely won’t recognize your vocation when it comes to present itself,” he said.
Valedictorian Aaron Kitchener said it felt like just a short time ago that he and his classmates were running around the playground together. “Remember your roots and all the people who helped you along the way,” he said.
A graduation tradition since 1983, Pieces of Eight awards were given to eight graduates who have displayed attributes such as leadership, integrity and Pirate pride. Medallions were given to (pictured left to right) Lily Lott, Shannon Keating, Henry Kenoyer, Zina Carroll, Mykah Shiosaki, Sophie Harrison, Ellen Chappelka and Ezra Ende. A final Pieces of Eight medallion was given to Stephanie Spencer (far right), who is leaving her assistant principal position after eight years for another job at the district and who Principal Danny Rock said “bleeds green and gold.”