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Seniors honored with parade, fireworks, all-night party, and plenty of cheers from loved ones

PMG PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER KEIZUR - Corbett Class of 2022 graduated Thursday, May 26, in a celebration that had a parade, fireworks, and plenty of proud family members. All of Corbett came out Thursday evening, May 26, to celebrate an amazing group of kids and their accomplishment — graduating high school.

It was an evening marked by a parade of cars decked out in tassels and hand-crafted signs; photographs and diplomas; speeches from classmates and favorite teachers; proud parents who only shed a few tears; beaming smiles from the graduates; and plenty of pomp and circumstance. In the darkened skies of the evening everyone roared as fireworks boomed over Corbett in a fitting send-off for the Class of 2022.

PMG PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER KEIZUR - Cody Kreamier earned the 2022 Cardinal Spirit award for capturing the essence of the group and keeping them all together through four years of high school.  "Graduation is one of my favorite nights," said Principal Kathy Childress. "Everyone in this parking lot worked together to achieve one goal — and we did it."

High schools across the region shook things up for graduation with the pandemic, with necessary social-distancing finding creative ways of altering traditional formats. In Corbett those changes have created a neat set of traditions that seem to have stuck for the Cardinals.

PMG PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER KEIZUR - Sydney Holwege waves to the crowds that lined the side of the Historic Columbia River Highway during Corbetts graduation ceremony.  The parade along the Historic Columbia River Highway, beginning in Troutdale, is particularly popular, as it allows Corbett, Springdale, and residents all through the Gorge to cheer on the grads. Even a sprinkling of rain couldn't dim the smiles — seniors held up umbrellas, wore ponchos over their robes, or just reveled in the classic moody Gorge weather.

And the rain cleared up for the most important part of the evening, commencement.

PMG PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER KEIZUR - Corbett Valedictorian Gali Rios ShultzValedictorians Miller Nelson and Gali Rios Shultz gave speeches.

"We can create change, but only if we are brave enough to be that change," Rios Shultz said.

Class representative Eli West had his classmates and crowd laughing during his speech that touched on a variety of topics perhaps never spoken during a graduation before. His advice for what to do when facing off against a boxer who wants your ice cream cone — offer a trade for his shorts.

"Keep pushing, always look for ways to improve," he added.

There were gift bags for seniors — courtesy Corbett High School Association of Mamas & Papas of Seniors (CHAMPS) — and a raffle with prizes for the beaming parents watching from the parking lot.

PMG PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER KEIZUR - It was all smiles for the Cardinals graduates despite some rainy weather to kick off the proceedings.  After a slideshow of photos and memories of the graduating seniors, and the fireworks, all the kids were bundled into a bus bound for an all-night party hosted by CHAMPS. For the Class of 2022, it was a well-deserved final send off for a group that has been through unbelievably difficult circumstances.

"I know for sure I wouldn't be here without all of you, so thank you," West said.

PMG PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER KEIZUR - Corbett Class of 2022 student representative Eli West.

PMG PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER KEIZUR - Kaden Shelton

PMG PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER KEIZUR - Corbett Class of 2022 graduated Thursday, May 26, in a celebration that had a parade, fireworks, and plenty of proud family members.

PMG PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER KEIZUR - Corbett Class of 2022 graduated Thursday, May 26, in a celebration that had a parade, fireworks, and plenty of proud family members.

PMG PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER KEIZUR - Corbett Class of 2022 graduated Thursday, May 26, in a celebration that had a parade, fireworks, and plenty of proud family members.

PMG PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER KEIZUR - Corbett Class of 2022 graduated Thursday, May 26, in a celebration that had a parade, fireworks, and plenty of proud family members.

PMG PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER KEIZUR - It was all smiles for the Cardinals graduates despite some rainy weather to kick off the proceedings.

PMG PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER KEIZUR - Corbett Class of 2022 graduated Thursday, May 26, in a celebration that had a parade, fireworks, and plenty of proud family members.

PMG PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER KEIZUR - Corbett Class of 2022 graduated Thursday, May 26, in a celebration that had a parade, fireworks, and plenty of proud family members.

PMG PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER KEIZUR - Corbett Class of 2022 graduated Thursday, May 26, in a celebration that had a parade, fireworks, and plenty of proud family members.

PMG PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER KEIZUR - Corbett Class of 2022 graduated Thursday, May 26, in a celebration that had a parade, fireworks, and plenty of proud family members.

PMG PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER KEIZUR - Joe Fundak took a selfie on the stage after receiving his diploma during Corbett's Graduation.


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