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Grads ready for high school
A gym full of proud parents and teachers watched as 166 exuberant students graduated from eighth grade Wednesday.
The parents, some tearful and many armed with cameras, watched as their children marched out of Langley Middle School, ready for the fun and challenges awaiting them in high school -- not to mention summer vacation.
The two-hour-long graduation ceremony included a welcoming speech from ASB president Kaylee Baldwin and speeches from students Kellie Robinson, Katherine East and Orson Ossman.
The graduation song "Amazing Grace" was performed by Katie Watson, Sara Hicks, Rita Jones and Kyla Stelling, and the song "There You'll Be" was performed by Christina Atkinson, Skye Simmons, Marissa Wilhelm, Kate Hodges and Nantanya Asay. Diplomas were presented by retiring teacher Marilyn Simmons, LMS vice-principal Tim Gordon, Norma Jean Elgas and principal Greg Willis.
The Langley Middle School class of 2002 listened to an inspirational send- off from their principal. He reminisced about what has happened while this class was at LMS, events that included Sept. 11.
"The way you handled yourselves that day was an inspiration for the rest of us," Willis said.
He also lauded graduate and runner Chris dePender for lapping the school body during a cancer fund-raiser for South Whidbey student Marguerite Crooks. He told the class he was also proud of its winning a National Service Learning Award, and of the work the school's Youth In Philanthrophy program did in handing out $10,000 in grant money.
Willis said he was impressed with the growth and maturity he has seen in this class.
"Through the years, you have made amazing changes," he said. "We are proud of what you have become."
As the cheers sounded and the band hit its first note at the end of the ceremony, Willis told the graduates what they wanted to hear.
"You are ready for high school, the graduating class of 2006," he said.