Lake Roosevelt graduates honored their past and looked to the future Saturday as they accepted awards, accolades and diplomas, words of wisdom and hope.
The 53 graduates garnered more than $570,000 in scholarship offers and, during what was likely one of the last graduation ceremonies to be held in the current Lake Roosevelt High School gym, received acknowledgement for contributing more than 6,400 hours of volunteer work in the community.
“There is so much potential sitting behind me,” noted Valedictorian Jesse Adkins in his address. “These students are leaders, scholars and artists.”
State Sen. Linda Evans Parlette (R-Wenatchee) praised the group for “already learning about advocacy,” as she read the class’s recent letter to federal authorities to argue for federal money to complete the funding to build a new school complex.
Parlette’s representation in the state Legislature is largely responsible for the $31 million in the budget to build a new classroom building that students will start using in 2014. But millions more are needed to complete the complex.
“We recognize the job is not finished. As a legacy of the Lake Roosevelt High School Class of 2012, we call on representatives of the federal government and its agencies to appropriate the funds needed to finish the job,” Parlette read to sustained applause.
She credited the community for not giving up on replacing the school that was built the same year she got out of kindergarten. “It’s time for a new school,” she said.
Addressing the class, she told them to look for the “transferable skills” they will gain in life, noting that she learned about customer service as a waitress working through college, a skill she still uses.
“With a strong work ethic, focused persistence, and some sort of skill that will allow you to earn a living, you will be successful,” she said. “Never give up. And congratulations to all of you.”
The audience gave her a standing ovation.