Video: West Seattle High School Class of 2010 graduation

For the second consecutive day, hundreds of local teenagers are at Memorial Stadium downtown to celebrate the completion of their high-school education – and the start of the next phase. Tonight, it’s West Seattle High School Class of 2010. ADDED 7:49 PM: The ~275 grads are off to the long-planned-for-and-fundraised-for Grad Night – and we’re adding more photos and video. First, decorated caps:

Here’s principal Bruce Bivins, who is headed for a new job in California – he and other faculty members wore yellow roses:

(added 9:46 pm – clip from his speech)

In the crowd – signs to cheer the grads on:

But overall, a night for big smiles.

And after the turning of the tassels:

Student graduation speakers included student-body president Lisa Broadstone, co-class president Mariah Doll, and A.J. Franklin. The Class of 2010 motto: “Believe in the promise of tomorrow, but live this day to the fullest.”

14 Replies to "Video: West Seattle High School Class of 2010 graduation"

  • Erik June 16, 2010 (9:20 pm)

    It was cool that Dr. Eric Dyson gave a talk.

  • Karl June 16, 2010 (10:47 pm)

    I am so very proud of Tailor!

  • CDinSeattle June 17, 2010 (7:42 am)

    Thanks to all the staff for getting our graduates to this place of new beginnings. And thanks to all the parents and volunteers that worked so hard to make grad night a wonderful event!

  • Lynn June 17, 2010 (8:07 am)

    A huge thank you to all of the parents and volunteers for putting together an amazing grad night!!! My son had a great time.

  • Atm June 17, 2010 (8:41 am)

    Congratulations to the graduates! It’s a shame that the event seemed to be all about the staff and guest speakers were.

    The speaches (all by staff or invited guests, no students were allowed to speak) were long, boring, agenda filled (Pro-Gay marriage and Pro O’Bama speaches)and had nothing to do with the students.

    That Principal ought to be ashamed. The graduating class deserved better.

  • DT June 17, 2010 (9:54 am)

    Yes, big Congrats to the graduates. Enjoyed the pure joy and energy of the students; the staff members that hi-fived each student as they walked to their seats; the students that did have an opportunity to speak and/or perform. The 2010 WSHS Student Graduation Planning Team did a great job. The audience was ignited; excitedly calling out their loved ones name; waving; jumping; horns going off…a real celebration of accomplishment and pride.

    Dr. Eric Dyson was inspirational and IMHO said many things that we all need to hear and remember—no matter how uncomfortable. He is a brilliant, insightful man. I would have loved to speak further with him after the ceremony.

    Unfortunately, the 2010 WSHS Graduation, IMHO was not the venue for Dr. Dyson’s speech. A different, (West?), Seattle platform would have been far more appropriate–possibly a Church or non-tax payer supported function, where people freely choose to attend as God’s name was invoked many times. In looking at the students and audience, my impression is that many different beliefs systems were represented. What if a Muslim Cleric had been the guest speaker? Or a Buddhist Monk? Or a Native American Shaman?

    Lastly, Mr. Bivens made an independent, surprise decision to hire Dr. Dyson, (for $4,000- $5,000), & in the process showed disrespect to the 2010 WSHS Graduate Planning Team, stopping just short of calling them racist when they questioned Mr. Bivens interference. During his own address, Mr. Bivens’ language and vernacular was unprofessional as he addressed the students and guests. He did nothing to bring people together by acting like he is a high school or college student. Mr. Bivens, I believe you owe the taxpayers a check.

  • John June 17, 2010 (10:57 am)

    I thought Dr Dyson’s talk was fully acceptable for the occasion. He did not have a “Christian” theme, he had a “rise up and be more than society deems correct for your background” theme. He had a diversity theme. I was very impressed with how supporting this student body is of all its members, and that was reflected in the talk. Our kids benefited through hearing someone who says and does what he believes and NOT necessarily what is “politically correct”, and challenged them to do the same – in fact he specifically told them to find their own way with respect for what came before, but completely independent of what came before. Exactly what they needed to hear.

  • Accountability June 17, 2010 (7:37 pm)

    I agree with DT. I don’t care who the speaker is, I’m incensed that a public school principal would spend $4,000 (or $5,000?) for a speaker to talk 20 minutes!! I can’t tell you how many times I heard that there was no money for supplies, transporation, or textbooks.

    Poor decision on the use of tax dollars Mr. Bivens, but good decision taking a job in LA.

    • WSB June 17, 2010 (7:52 pm)

      FWIW I have not yet confirmed this payment report with the district but will be trying. Dr. Dyson was not listed on the program, also another datapoint, and we didn’t even get him on video, not realizing till it was pointed out later that he was a person of prominence. Too heads-down in strictly local matters, we are….

  • Accountability June 18, 2010 (5:06 pm)

    WSB – If possible, please be persistent with the district and let us know if you hear back. They probably hope that this issue goes away. Thanks.

  • wsparent June 20, 2010 (10:56 am)

    If this is true regarding Dr. Dyson, I would say good bye and good riddance Bruce Bivins!

  • WSB June 21, 2010 (9:21 am)

    Just to note, I am still looking into this, with a formal inquiry out. No further speculation or “I heard…” for the moment. If anyone has information they would care to share with us offline, any time (or the various other contact methods listed at ), as would be the case with any potential news story. Thanks – TR

    • WSB June 21, 2010 (6:26 pm)

      And here’s what I’ve heard back from Patti Spencer @ Seattle Public Schools: “The speaker cost $4,000 – it was a last minute opportunity and Mr. Bivins decided to grab it. … The money came from what is called “self help” — this is a fund (and the only fund) that can be spent at the principal’s discretion. Monies come from a lot of different sources — can include personal, business and foundation donations. Self help is carried over from one year to another. Mr. Bivins tells me that the self-help account had about $15,000 when he started at the school and at the beginning of next year there will be about $45,000, so he has built this fund up considerably.” I asked for more info on these “self-help” funds, and she reiterated that these do not come out of general school funding, nor was there ASB funding involved here either, according to Spencer. – TR

  • TK June 21, 2010 (8:32 pm)

    Thanks for the update, WSB. I’m glad that it didn’t come from the student’s funds, but $4,000 being spent on a speaker instead of spending that money on a longer lasting contribution to the school still doesn’t make sense in this economy.
    Last year the school had a fantastic motivational speaker that the kids had rave reviews about, and he was paid only $300.
    How many times this year have we heard that “we can’t do that because there’s no money like there used to be for this…” Just think how that other $3,700 could have been spent!

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