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West Linn High School seniors receive their diplomas and welcome the next chapters of their lives. 

PMG PHOTOS: JONATHAN HOUSE - Graduates throw their mortarboards into the air at the end of West Linn High School's commencement.A raging downpour couldn't dampen West Linn High School students' spirits as they crossed the graduating stage on Friday, June 10.

Family, friends and fellow students crowded the stadium at Providence Park to celebrate the achievements and resilience of the class of 2022. Principal Trevor Menne kicked off the commencement with a farewell to the group of students he worked with during his first year as leader of the high school. He also acknowledged how resilient the class has been despite the challenges they faced with the pandemic.

"Their journey to this point has been full of twists, turns and the unexpected — through it all, (they've had their) resilience, intelligence, advocacy, care and passion for each other," Menne said.

Student speaker Lucinda Fein and valedictorian Charles Harmon each gave speeches. Fein remembered being told they were the class of 2022 in kindergarten and how unreal that sounded at the time. She spoke about the shared experiences the class members had together, and how that has and will shape them in their lives.

"Please take a moment to be aware of who you are because of the people you have met and the things you have done. Today is the end of one chapter in our lives,but the beginning of our individual stories," Fein said.

Harmon likened the high school experience to the "scariest" roller coaster ever. He talked about the ups and downs of the different grade levels, and logistical issues that occurred in their sophomore year due to the pandemic. Nevertheless, the class kept riding the track.

"Inspired by the idea of a better tomorrow, we refused to quit. We have embodied what it means to hope and what it means to persevere," Harmon said. "As we walk away from this roller coaster that was high school, there remains the entire park of life to explore."

The graduating class also nominated math teacher Sean Shevlin to deliver a speech. Alongside performing a final dance in honor of his students, Shevlin spoke about letting their fear of failure be eclipsed by the fear of "what if?" He illustrated this point through personal anecdotes, speaking about changing career paths after receiving his degree and talking to his crush who is now his wife.

"So take those chances. Let your fear of 'what if' beat out your fear of failure — it could turn out great," he said.

West Linn High School Class of 2022


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