Friends and family gathered in the large gym waiting with anticipation as teacher Mr. Kyle Holloway motioned with both arms for the first two seniors to begin the processional. The UCSD band commenced “Pomp and Circumstance” as the rest of the Class of 2018 filed in two-by-two and took seats in front of a backdrop of senior portraits for the 2018 Unalaska City School Graduation Ceremony on May 19th at 7pm.
After a short introduction by Superintendent John Conwell, salutatorian Sydney Mahoney took the stage followed by Valedictorian Brian Conwell. Both reflected on the past and future during their speeches.
"We're surrounded by an omnipresent series of wonder after wonder after wonder, and yet we miss it sometimes fretting about the future or yearning for the past. We forget to hold onto the simple beauty of the now," Mahoney said. Conwell continued that notion and posited, "it's easy to be scared of the future, but that's not how I want to go out; our goodbye to this school and this community is a happy one."
The seniors chose guest speakers Mr. Kyle Holloway and Ms. Shawna Rudio to present next. Mr. Holloway shared a personal anecdote about his first year on island, while Ms. Rudio entered beating sharply on a mobile snare drum.
After the speeches, Ms. Teri Morris began the presentation of scholarships, of which there were many.
The students then moved to the back of the gym to watch the senior slideshow and the student videos of gratitude. A crowd-favorite this year was a “thank you” song sung by Sydney Mahoney while strumming along on her ukulele.
Following the videos, the students gathered bouquets of flowers they then hand-delivered one by one to the special family members and influential members of the faculty.
Superintendent John Conwell then took the stage to present diplomas to the Class of 2018. There was a steady roar of from the audience as each of the 30 seniors ceremoniously placed their tassels from the right side of their graduate caps to the left.
Guests stuck around for cake and punch after the ceremony while the graduates were delighted and surprised by fun and games at the PCR until the wee hours of the morning.
If you’d like to see the ceremony in it’s entirety, watch Saturday, May 26th at 6pm, Sunday May 27th at 6pm and Monday May 28th at 6pm.