Class of 2000 shines

"Without a hammer in sight, this year's stylish Bainbridge High School graduates remained a work, so to speak, under construction. Barbie dolls, whirling tassels and an array of self-made additions to graduation hats glistened in the sunshine as the suddenly former seniors commemorated an educational career characterized by building and work.Every school attended by the class of 2000 has undergone major renovation, noted BHS Principal David Ellick at the graduation ceremony Saturday, with a nod to the newly finished BHS gymnasium nearby. Graduation speaker Kelton Johnson followed his lead, leavening his speech with a joke at the expense of the green-burgundy Woodward color scheme, and poking fun at the architecture of the old Commodore building. These millennium graduates - some said to be attending the ceremony wearing only their vibrant blue gowns - showed a sense of humor.And the class's achievements suggested a bright future. Collectively, the class earned a grade point average of 3.074, and includes eight valedictorians, five National Merit finalists, 19 students with National Merit commendations, and 53 student members of the National Honor Society. Ellick spoke highly of the preferential index points the University of Washington awards students from BHS, because of their high results and because they rarely suffer a drop in GPA as many move from high school on to that university.Polling by the school showed that 62 percent of the class are heading to four-year colleges, 21 percent to two-year institutions or vocational colleges, 5 percent entering the workforce.Another 3 percent plan to travel and 1 percent will join the military. And the graduation ceremony put those years ahead in perspective.With quotes ranging from Dr. Seuss to T.S. Eliot, teachers and pupils alike exhibited a candid relativism. This year's crop of young activists, bird-watchers, debaters and mathematicians pondered what speaker Ella Apalisok called that wonderfully transitional point between childhood and adulthood with a restrained enthusiasm. Meanwhile, it was with dead-pan drollery that teacher Bob McAllister's parting quote, brevity is the soul of wit, recognized the end of a 30 year long career.Of course, the students left their high school days behind with a certain amount of nostalgia. American studies teacher Eric Hoffman's decision to carry a pocket copy of the Constitution with him was fondly cited by his pupils as cause for special recognition, as was Lucy Harvey's commitment to her job as BHS custodian.Touches like these are what should keep the memories of graduates and their parents intact.Our school is blessed with tremendous support from our community, said Ellick."

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