Renton High’s class of 2018 long-awaited graduation

June 18, 2018

High school graduations hold vastly different meanings to each individual who goes through one. To some, it is an emotionally damaging parting of ways with their childhood. To others, it is a long awaited fresh start with newfound freedoms.

But, the common theme between the testimonies of Renton High’s graduating class of 2018 was bittersweetness.

As a running start student, Reanna Wong maintained connections to RHS by participating in sporting seasons year round.

Wong said, “It was amazing to know that through all our accomplishments we made it, but at the same time, it’s sad to see everyone separate and finally choose their own paths.”

Jeremy Caldeira, a talented musician and another track and cross country athlete, had similar thoughts reflecting on his graduation experience.

“When I walked out the doors of Showare Center, intense feelings of joy, relief, and sadness hit me hard. Joy to the extent I shook hands and hugged the same person three times in a row, and it still didn’t feel like enough. Relief that the journey of the last four years were finally over. But, also sadness that it was over, that there was no going back, and a realization that I would be saying goodbye to many people in the coming months,” reflected Caldeira.

With students attending colleges and universities all over the country this coming fall, the senior class must prepare for school in a different environment, where the people they have passed in the halls for the past four years are not with them. Kelis Barton had a taste of this early on, leaving the typical senior year experience behind to pursue an early soccer scholarship at Washington State University.

Barton chose to compare her graduation to her first steps into Renton High as a freshman, elaborating how “You’re mind is fresh, your eyes are big, your heart is full- and you have so much emotion and anticipation to see where life and the next four years are now gonna take you.”

Aaron Garcia, Latino Student Union officer and athlete, added “Knowing this will be the last time you will all be together makes the [commencement] ceremony even more special. […] It felt surreal.”

Just as Renton High has opened doors and minds for its students, much of the graduating class is optimistic for the new opportunities they will have in the future, in their career path and beyond. Although approaching adulthood comes with daunting new responsibilities, it is inevitable as the seniors come closer to realizing their passions in terms of careers and interests.

“Walking across the stage was way different. It felt more than just an accomplishment, but like my life is really about to start,” detailed Syniah Shanaye.

Angelica Lucero adds how heartbreaking it is for her to leave the school and all the people she has met, especially considering the impact they have had on her since starting at Renton High in her freshman year. However, Lucero is still able to find the positives of pursuing her education further as a college student.

Graduation has also become a relief because now I get to study something I’m truly passionate about,” explained Lucero.

Sonne Brown was all smiles when talking about graduation, living up to his bright and optimistic demeanor. 

“I feel nothing but happiness for our entire class. I have confidence that we’ll continue on to become a legendary version of ourselves. We deserve this, we earned this,” Brown shared.

As many tears were shed during graduation, there were infinitely more smiles in comparison. It should not be forgotten of how joyous of an occasion the ceremony truly is. The celebration of all the late nights, caffeine, presentations, projects, tests, and essays is a weight lifted off of all of the students’ shoulders.

“Graduation for me was a set off in my future from gaining maturity, learning new skills , and learning who I was as an individual preparing me to walk into the real world with a motive or a goal to become or make myself into something more,” reflects Emarie Jackson.

The commencement ceremony itself took place and featured heavy participation from the senior class, with Sophie and Sheila Tanchoco singing the national anthem to speeches from Tai McMillan and Inajinah Mazique. The senior class officers, including Makena Yee, were given the honor of leading the turning of tassels.

Yee summed up her graduation experience by saying, “When high school is over, we move into bigger things, which is why I strive to do better and continue on with my goals. High school was a strong platform for me in order for me to jump off and do new things.”

As Yee quoted, “when one door closes, another one opens.” It is exciting to consider the future contributions this graduating class of 2018 will offer with the great potential in each and every one of them. It is evident that they will forever carry with them the skills and lessons they have learned over their time at Renton High, and similarly, the contributions and impact the senior graduating class will not be forgotten. They have set a golden standard for seniors to come, motivating them towards Pride, Tradition, and Excellence.


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