Grads bid SHS a farewell SLIDESHOW

Friday the 13th was not an unlucky day for about 200 students graduating from Sequim High School and Sequim Alternative School.

Though a cool breeze filled the football stadium and clouds loomed above, the relief, excitement and the joy of the seniors kept the weather at bay.

Shawn Langston, Sequim High School principal, both welcomed the Class of 2014 to their graduation ceremony, but also said goodbye to them with a speech centered on passion and the strength found in the ability to adapt and change to make a difference.

“If you don’t like something change it,” Langston said. “If you can’t change it, change your attitude.”

A total of four valedictorians spoke during the graduation. Each gave a different perspective on the past, present and future — emphasis on the future. Ideas on what is possible and the conclusion that anything is possible was a consistent underlying theme despite the very different perspectives given by each valedictorian.

Angela Bentley challenged her peers to make a difference, Makayla Bentz used her life lessons learned through softball to transpire the idea of taking both the successes and failures in stride and use both to one’s advantage, Wilson Eiland spoke of the power of perseverance and Allison Masangkay used her role models, like Beyonce as a vehicle to emphasize that the “greatest thing you could ever be is to be yourself,” Masangkay said.

U-Turn Award recipient Michelle Fuller was overcome by a few tears as Langston presented the award in recognition of her ability to surmount seemingly insurmountable obstacles in the order to graduate.

“This one’s a feisty one,” Langston said as he introduced Fuller to the sea of beaming parents, family and friends of the seniors.

The tears of the ceremony were balanced with the comic relief of class-elected speaker Drake Binswanger. Binswanger moved to Sequim at the beginning of his high school career and credits the town and school for helping to shape the person he has become.

Binswanger provoked laughs as he concluded his speech with the phrase: “Autobots transform and roll out … to college.”

Each and every speaker at the graduation ceremony, whether funny, inspirational or thought-provoking, had a positive message for the seniors to grasp and take with them as they prepare to take their first unique step away from high school and toward the future.

Reach Alana Linderoth at


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