Pomp and Circumstance; NKN certifies senior graduation (photos + video)

For the 50 students at the Neah-Kah-Nie High School gymnasium, it was their last fling Friday and they literally danced out the door with big smiles.
By Brad Mosher
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They were former students and newly minted graduates.
They had survived four years and all received the official stamp of success when principal Heidi Buckmaster announced they had met all the requirements set by the school board and the state of Oregon to qualify for graduation.
For some, it was the end of a 13-year journey they had started together in kindergarten.
That was how valedictorian Nula Reid recalled the voyage the new graduates had been on when she addressed the students, faculty and families attending the ceremony.
“Don’t feel the need to conform to other’s expectations,” she told her classmates. “Define your own values in life … your family, your friends. Make sure you follow with those values in whatever you decide to do.
“Of course we are going to change the world. There is no place where this group of people is not going to have a positive impact… whether it be groundbreaking or acts of kindness that cascade through society,” she said.
For class president Dylan Mitchell, the occasion prompted a big shout out to the parents – specifically the mothers.
“They carried us for nine months in their stomachs and then they carried us for another 18 years on their back,” he said.
After the principal presented the “Class of 2018” officially, the new graduates were presented with their diplomas and viewed a slide show of the students when they were small and just starting school, through their scholastic journey to their senior year at Neah-Kah-Nie.
It took less than an hour for the students to become graduates, even with the band playing “Pomp and Circumstance” and “March Diabolique.”
The school choir also performed, singing “What I Did for Love.”
The school board’s chair, Terry Kelly, joined with Neah-Kah-Nie School District Superintendent Paul Erlebach and the principal in handing out the diplomas.

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