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Collins High graduates head off into world

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By Brenda Sexton-The Courier-Herald

One tradition has stood the test of time at Collins High School graduation, Principal Marcie Polin explained - the most recent person hired or someone leaving the alternative program speaks at graduation.

Polin, who has served the four-district cooperative for 12 years, has accepted a job as leader of the Mukilteo School District's alternative program, setting herself up for the inevitable.

As she addressed the 30 graduates gathered June 10 in the White River High School theater, she talked about how their journey was beginning and offered hope for the future.

Polin started with the definition of persevere - to continue a course of action in the face of obstacles or discouragement, and then talked about how each graduate had overcome their own specific roadblocks and challenges.

She used her story as an example.

“I was not the best student in high school and was a bit rebellious myself,” Polin said.

Her dad insisted on college, Polin didn't want to go, but did and became a teacher and a principal. She said her dad died before she could tell him how grateful she was he believed in her and pushed her. Polin said each graduate has someone like her dad, someone who believes in them and will push them - even when they don't want to go.

“Follow your heart, live your dreams and always persevere,” Polin said.

In turn, Collins High School presented Polin with its Collins Community Service Award for her dedication to the program.

This year's Pierce First scholarship from Pierce College went to Brittani Melancon. The scholarship is for full tuition, valued at $2,600, for the 2008-09 school year at Pierce College. Melancon also received a $250 Buckley Log Show scholarship.

Anthony Baxley received a $1,000 Enumclaw Rotary Scholarship.

Student speakers included Brittany Evans, Elizabeth Spillers, Steven Rahier and Marisa Caldwell. Caldwell also offered the program's welcome.

As she sent the graduates on their way, Polin thanked the Collins High staff and asked the leaders of the four school districts present - Enumclaw, Orting, Sumner and White River - to continue the Collins Alternative Programs because the Collins High graduates standing before them were proof of its success.

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