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SWHS celebrates six standouts as valedictorians

LANGLEY — The six young graduates chosen as the Class of 2009 valedictorians couldn’t be more different, yet all have something in common.

During the past four years at South Whidbey High School, each has accumulated a perfect 4.0 grade-point average. Along their journey, one has become a world-class drummer, another played piano onstage in the Big Apple, one was a star ballerina, another started a club to help those in need, and a budding politico upended the very rules by which election decisions are made at the high school.

The sixth will unfortunately miss the big day as he pursues his passion for rowing at the U.S. Youth National Rowing Championships in Ohio.

Now it’s time for Caiti Fjelsted, Kenny George, Ian Marsanyi, Michela Mattens, Grant Neubauer and Ben Snow to say goodbye to classmates, teachers, friends and family as they emerge from the chrysalis of island life into the larger world.

They are the valedictorians for the class of 2009.

“I’ve been fortunate to have had each of them in my advanced Spanish classes,” said teacher Jennifer Gochenour.

“They are the kind of students who inspire me as a teacher through their work ethic, positive attitudes, creativity, willingness to give of themselves to help others, overall intelligence and well-roundedness,” she said.

For a profile on each valedictorian, click here for

Caiti Fjelsted

Ian Marsanyi

Michela Mattens

Grant Neubauer

Ben Snow

Kenny George

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