Every graduation ceremony is a momentous occasion in the graduates’ personal histories. Last night’s Seattle Lutheran High School Class of 2022 graduation was also a historic occasion for the school – its 42nd graduation ceremony is its last. SLHS announced in April that the school – West Seattle’s only parochial high school – will close after this school year. Despite that, the ceremony was not a requiem; it was as celebratory as a graduation should be.
That’s Devin Christie, valedictorian and recipient of the Faculty Scholarship Award and Math Award. She observed in her speech that “our class has changed a lot, and the world has changed a lot.” Also speaking was salutatorian and Leadership Award winner Bella Nowicki, who sounded a humorous note in her speech, detailing how each of her 17 classmates might behave if faced with a zombie apocalypse.
She noted that the pandemic had posed challenges not unlike what that mythical event might bring. After speeches and awards, it was diploma time, with exuberance from some grads, including TaiAmari English:
As each of the 18 graduates was announced, their future plans were too. Most were going to college – one as far away as Hawaii – several as close as Western Washington University in Bellingham and South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) here in West Seattle. Two are joining the U.S. Marine Corps.
One of those few allusions to the school’s impending closure came in the closing prayer from Oskar Schoening of the SLHS Student Council, giving thanks for 44 years:
West Seattle has two more graduation ceremonies ahead – Monday night, the commencement ceremonies for both Chief Sealth IHS (5 pm) and West Seattle HS (8 pm) are scheduled at Nino Cantu Southwest Athletic Complex. (Our coverage of the Summit Atlas graduation is here.)