The first of this week’s four graduation ceremonies for West Seattle high schools happened last night in the Brockey Center at South Seattle College.
In our video are the first-ever high-school graduates from Summit Atlas, West Seattle’s first and only charter school, which opened four years ago and has been adding grades each year until reaching a full complement of 6th through 12th grade classes this year. The “founders’ class” numbered 33 graduates. Five Class of 2021 students spoke – Zahria Perry, Zakariya Osman, Esther Mumbi, Anishta Rojini Kathireson, and Jackson Alvis, with whom we spoke before the ceremony:
Jackson is one of the 30 grads that the school says are headed for college. The ceremony also featured keynote speaker Toyia T. Taylor, the award-winning educator/advocate who chaired the 2020 Seattle Children’s March.
Teachers and staffers spoke too, including the high school’s executive director Dan Effland. Along with diplomas, the graduates received parting mementos such as a founders-class commemorative painting of orcas (the school’s mascot):
This milestone for the school comes 6 1/2 years after we broke the news that a charter school was taking over what had been a church and former supermarket at 35th/Roxbury. Summit Atlas opened in fall of 2017 as the second of California-based Summit‘s two Seattle schools.