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"Expanded, escorted parade thrills graduating seniors, kids"

"A Jeep load of senior girls rolls by a throng of South Whidbey Intermediate School students on Maxwelton Road during the annual senior parade Wednesday afternoon.Matt Johnson, staff photoAs they drove between crowds of South Whidbey intermediate and primary school students Wednesday afternoon, seniors from South Whidbey High School had to wonder who was more excited about the fact they were graduating - themselves or the grade school kids?The annual parade took a detour off its usual route between the South Whidbey Community Park and downtown Langley to swing through the parking lots at the primary and intermediate schools, giving the graduating seniors a look back at their past while the younger students were treated to a glimpse of their future.Escorted by two Langley police cars, two Island County Sheriff cars, and a truck driven by high school principal Mike Johnson, the parade was under tighter supervision than in past years, though the students did not seem to mind. Driving about 15 vehicles, the seniors played loud music, waved out of open windows and the backs of convertibles, and screamed with excitement.The grade-school students took the display as a compliment for the work they did preparing for the parade. Intermediate school students turned out with huge paper signs proclaiming messages such as It's Over and Congratulations Class of 2001. Teachers from the schools wore paper glasses in the shape of the numbers in 2001 and passed out balloons to former students as they drove slowly through the school parking lot.After the parade, principal Johnson thanked the law enforcement officers who escorted the parade. He also complimented his students.The students also did a real nice job and positively represented our school and community, he said. "

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