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Enumclaw High graduation ceremony sees 316 receive diplomas at Whte River Amphitheatre

Mother Nature smiled brightly on the Enumclaw High School graduating class of 2010, as 316 young men and women went through commencement exercises Monday evening at the White River Amphitheatre.

It was a sun-splashed occasion for class leaders to inspire classmates and adults to sing the praises of this year's group of graduates.

Class speaker Julie Sanders walked her classmates through a quick history of their scholastic lives, including learning The Hustle during middle school and soon breaking down the barriers that once separated Enumclaw Middle School kids from the Thunder Mountain Middle School crowd.

"Soon, we all came together as one," she said.

"We are ready to chase our dream and accomplish our goals," she said, closing with a plea to "remember your Hornet pride."

Class President Trulan Rockwood reminded his audience that Walt Disney built a massive empire from simply beginnings – a dream and a mouse – and quoted from the movie "Gladiator," pulling the most-appropriate line, "What we do in life echoes through eternity."

Principal Jill Burnes offered some impressive numbers, telling the amphitheatre crowd this year's seniors have secured scholarships valued in excess of $400,000 for the coming year and more than $1.1 million during the next four years. Twenty-two graduating seniors have also earned a two-year college degree, she said, and three will soon be getting their cosmetology degree.

Class speakers Monica Dion and Anna Nelson assured the audience this year's class will make a serious mark on the community.

"We will become a new generation of doctors and scientists," Dion said. "Our generation will embrace the tasks ahead of us," Nelson added. And they closed, in unison, with "We are Enumclaw."

Enumclaw School Board President Nancy Merrill pointed out this year's group has been asked to go above and beyond the minimum requirements for graduation. And did they?

Superintendent Mike Nelson assured the group has excelled in showing community spirit and a willingness to help. Teacher Phil Engebretsen guaranteed this year's class "did all their abilities would allow...and then a little bit more." Teacher Mike McKinley reminded everyone members of this year's class faced tough times "but they did not give up, they did not waver.

"I've never witnessed a class of students so filled with drive, leadership and compassion," he said.

"You are the best."

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