Hundreds of family members, friends and supporters filled the Seaside Civic and Convention Center Monday night to celebrate the graduation of Seaside High School’s class of 2018.
“For many of us, this is the biggest night of our lives,” valedictorian Colton Carter said in addressing the audience. “The night we take our first step past the threshold of childhood into the real world.”
Carter said classmates will remember people and the feelings in years to come. He traced the class’s four years in high school, from 2014 as freshmen to this year, to senior year, “the home stretch of his marathon called high school.”
Graduation Day is “a huge turning point,” he added, with the diploma representing freedom to make informed decisions and take the next step in life.
Carter capped an evening program that included performances by the school band, chamber choir and a slide presentation honoring each graduate.
Principal Jeff Roberts urged students to take the skills learned in high school and make their mark in the world. “Be kind, be humble and work hard,” he advised.
Senior class president Corrie Falleur delivered a roll call as students stepped forward one by one to receive their diplomas from Roberts and district superintendent Sheila Roley distributed diplomas, accompanied by members of the district’s board, Lori Lum, Patrick Nofield, Hugh Stelson, Brian Taylor, Mark Truax and Michelle Wunderlich.
Salutatorian Jessica Chisholm described senior year as a time of being “on top of the world.” She remembered the past four years, with unexpected friendships, obstacles and laughter. “By being here today it is clear that all our hard work and stress has paid off.”
The past has shaped who they are now, she said. “We are going in different directions,” she said. “But without the lessons high school taught, we wouldn’t be where we are today.”
She thanked family and friends for support. “High school has come and gone. As Dr. Seuss said, ‘Don’t cry because it’s over — smile because it happened.’”