EDITOR'S COLUMN | Go forth, graduates, and consider returning

Graduation, it’s finally arrived.

It’s what seniors have been waiting for, and what parents have secretly dreaded. Or, perhaps for some families it’s the other way around. Let’s just say it’s when kids become adults and it’s the time for parents to let go … wait, I might have that backwards again.

Whatever the case, this weekend will be momentous for it’s the start of a new chapter in South Whidbey’s history. Many may not realize or think about it, but this community is right now being shaped by those who once donned a cap with a tassel of blue and white.

Fifty years ago, Jim Porter shed his graduation robes and went on to help shape the South Whidbey Parks & Recreation District, an organization that helped realize the dream that is South Whidbey Community Park. How many events are held there and who hasn’t spent time at the sports fields, walked the trails, or took the kids to the playground or Castle Park before that?

Curt Gordon, class of 1975, spent many years serving the same district before moving on to his current role as a Port of South Whidbey commissioner. It’s the agency that keeps our boat ramps open and anglers on the water, the organization that just recently completed the first phase of a larger vision for a bigger and improved marina in Langley.

Helen Price Johnson, class of 1976, was a longtime member of the South Whidbey School Board before moving on to become the first female commissioner in Island County’s history. She helped shepherd the county through the worst economic downturn in recent memory, has been a champion for the environment and argued for public access to our beaches. Just win Wonn Road back for the people, commissioner, and secure your legacy forever.

There are many more who I’ve neglected to mention, both past and present, who have also worked to better our community. And not all are in politics, but they share the same claim to fame: their success began in a high school gym on South Whidbey — what was once Langley High School.

So, as those caps are tossed this weekend, at both South Whidbey High School and South Whidbey Academy, I can’t help but wonder who among them will accomplish great things right here at home.

Stay safe South Whidbey seniors, and may The Record be among the very first to say, congratulations. Go Falcons.


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