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Bayview graduates its largest class ever

"Graduating as the Bayview High School Class of 2001 are, back row, from the left, Joshua Mitchell, Rebecca Smith, Rebecca Starkweather and Randy Erickson. In front are Mindy Munkres, Angela Hudkins, Venessa Cleary, Laine Prinzing, and Linnea Reid. Not pictured are Joe Epstien-Solfield, Stephanie Linclau, Tressa Ogden and Brianne Phillips.Matt Johnson / staff photoJean Shaw is going to be pressed for time if she tries to talk about every student graduating in the Bayview High School Class of 2001.The 13-member class is the largest the alternative high school has graduated in its four years of commencement ceremonies. In keeping with past observances, the staff and teachers will say a few words about each of the graduates at Thursday afternoon's commencement at the Bayview Hall. Those few words will add up.In 2001, four graduates will receive their diplomas for the work they did on Web sites they created for their graduation portfolios. Two others, South Whidbey High School soccer players R.J. Erickson and Josh Mitchell, leave after being the school's first two varsity athletes. Venessa Cleary, another senior graduate, gets her diploma after spending the year balancing school, a job and a new baby. All the graduates will march out of the hall Thursday knowing more about what it is to love learning.They've grown up a whole lot here, said Shaw.Unlike past years, the Bayview students will receive their diplomas decked out in caps and gowns. The formal dress was a class request, one Shaw said will give the students all the trappings of every other high school graduation.To get to this point, the Bayview students have either amassed 29 credits from their regular classes, or have earned 19 standard credits and created a senior portfolio that demonstrates mastery over 45 essential learnings.Bayview teacher Scott Mauk said four of the six students making portfolios this year chose to build Web sites as major portions of those portfolios. Stephanie Linclau's Web site, for example, explains the skills she learned during a one month internship on a farm in Canada.As graduation nears, the Bayview students are getting used to the idea that high school graduation is just one rung on the ladder toward adulthood.It's the first main step in life, said graduation candidate Becky Starkweather.Thursday's graduation ceremony at Bayview Hall will begin at 4:30 p.m. All members of the public are welcome. "

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