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Bye bye Bayview: Compassion defines Bayview School graduates
CLINTON — Better late than never.
That was true for the graduation ceremony for the Bayview School class of 2012. It rang true for a few graduates in their fourth or fifth year of high school. And it could be said about the occasional tardiness of Bayview School’s 14 graduates, who will get their diplomas and diploma cases later than planned after they were mistakenly left back at the school.
“This class is symbolic of that school,” said Bayview School Director David Pfeiffer.
He added: “This group is very kind, very determined and they’re going to go out and make a difference in the world in a positive way.”
Life messages and humor permeated the afternoon at Bayview School’s graduation June 7 at Thomas Berry Hall at the Whidbey Institute. And so it was that the last graduating class of Bayview School started, and will end, a little late. If everything had run on schedule and flawlessly, the ceremony would not share the essence of Bayview School — the alternative high school for the South Whidbey School District. It’s the last stop for students, a safety net of sorts when traditional high school doesn’t work on the South End.
One of the ceremony’s student speakers, Megan Scott, praised Bayview School’s staff and faculty for their compassion. Scott, 18, transferred to Bayview School in November after she moved from Idaho. As a fresh face to the old school, whose students typically transfer from South Whidbey High School, Scott felt welcomed and accepted at Bayview School.
“Bayview has been the best school I’ve ever been to,” said Scott, who plans to return to Idaho for work and come back to South Whidbey, with eventual hopes of obtaining a degree in animal studies. “The teachers have been so into helping the students, and the students help each other. If anyone doesn’t succeed at this school, it isn’t because they didn’t have enough support.”
During the ceremony, the graduates and staff honored some of the people who supported them. Tutors, teachers, counselors, secretaries and parents were thanked. Students selected Clyde Monma, a math
tutor at Bayview School, to be the ceremony’s guest speaker. He thanked the students for being themselves and the school board and superintendent for supporting alternative education. Monma gave the students three rules to live by: always be who they are, always be kind to others and always be grateful for life’s blessings.
“There have been a lot of lives turned around at this school,” Monma said.
He added: “Let us commit to preserving the best of Bayview, despite the changes.”
Transition and letting go of the past were common themes from speaker to speaker. Scott also addressed changes the graduates and their families, as well as the school, would experience.
“It’s important for everyone to know it’s time to let it go, let Bayview go and let your children and students go,” she said.
Another student spoke about courage, and how it would be required in the days ahead, just as it was during the graduates’ time at the school.
“Courage does not have to roar to be heard,” said Isabella “Izzy” Moreno.
“Hold steadfast to who you are and courage will not abandon you,” she concluded.
With that, they strolled onto the stage in front of more than 100 of their parents, siblings and peers. Since the diplomas and covers were missing, the graduates shook hands and hugged their teachers, advocates, school board members Jill Engstrom and Linda Racicot and District Superintendent Jo Moccia. The superintendent told the graduates to value their diplomas and gave them tips for life.
“I hope you cherish your high school diploma,” Moccia said. “It’s a symbol of hard work and entering into adulthood.”