PHS graduation 2019

Kena Bacho shakes hands with Dan Johnson after receiving her diploma from school board member Greg Gerding. Kena's one of those students I'll remember — probably for all of those balls she stopped as a goaltender.

Back when we started the newspaper, it was in the middle of the 2014-15 year. So, you could say that the first high school class I covered through an entire academic year was 2015-16. Those kids graduated this afternoon.

I couldn't help but smile as I watched them receive their diplomas. In the midst of a lot of negative news that goes on in our world, I think it's these types of moments that really grab a hold of me. And these moments are among those lifelong milestones. You know, the biggies — graduation, marriage, children and so on. Of course, there are a whole bunch of other ones in there but the class that you graduate with connects you with your high school for the rest of your life.

My son, Brandon, graduated from Corvallis High, gosh it's been like six years ago already. It was held in Gill Coliseum at Oregon State and his grandparents came all the way from Nebraska to be a part of the moment. It was a very big for him (and the rest of us), as I'm sure was the case for the families at Philomath's commencement on Saturday.

Someday in these columns, perhaps I'll share the story of my own graduation. In short, I almost didn't get to walk with my class because for disciplinary reasons, but my English teacher and classmates rallied around me and I was allowed to be part of the ceremony. (Although they handed me an envelope like everybody else, there was no diploma inside. I had to come back to work for the high school for two weeks as a janitor before they'd give me the diploma). Yeah, maybe I'll share that story someday.

Anyway, congrats to all 119 of Philomath High's graduates. Sure, my association with you is because of a job as I conduct interviews, see you on campus, take photos of you at school events and so on. But it goes beyond that to the point where I feel proud to publish your stories and photos in the newspaper. Best of luck to the Class of 2019.

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