CONGRATULATIONS! West Seattle High School Class of 2024 graduates

By the time West Seattle High School‘s Class of 2024 tossed their caps in the air, the sun had set and the moon shone over Memorial Stadium downtown, following an hour-and-a-half ceremony launching more than 300 grads into the rest of their lives. ASB president Ruby Athan was the first of four student speakers; she spoke of learning to let things go, even as she also urged her classmates to take a moment to pause and appreciate who was surrounding them, one last time. Staff speaker Paul Savino provided comic relief, explaining, “If you can make somebody laugh, you got ’em … it’s a mutually disarming technique.” He and others made mention of the Class of 2024 entering high school in mid-pandemic. The first of two “Lessons of Life” student speakers, Ryan Whitney, talked about “the power of focus” and urged classmates to congratulate themselves because they “crushed high school.” Co-speaker Abdi Abdirahman declared, “We came as kittens and left as Wildcats!” Here’s our video of those first four speakers:

The class had nine valedictorians, and one spoke, Andy Hoff, also giving a nod to “the importance of focus,” specifically finding the “one thing that brings you fulfillment.”

The other eight valedictorians are Payson Gutt, Kamil Ignacio, Clay Kuran, Benjamin Lewis, Nina Lovre, Jackie Martin, Leah Morgan, and Sonya Purcell. After the speakers and a musical performance, WSHS principal Brian Vance presented the class to School Board director Gina Topp, who had joined him in the ceremony-opening processional:

The principal observed, “What a ride this has been,” and assured the new grads, “You’re ready for whatever lies ahead.”

ADDED: Here’s the district video of the WSHS ceremony:

12 Replies to "CONGRATULATIONS! West Seattle High School Class of 2024 graduates"

  • Nick June 19, 2024 (10:00 am)

    Charlestown Hill this morning.

  • Charlestown Neighbor June 19, 2024 (2:33 pm)

    Proud of that Nick?   If you were one of the neighbors who live here you might find it less fun.  Looking at this daily, for months on end, isn’t a treat.   Laced with profanity and homo phobic “f**k Pride!”.   Not to mention that the city spent a fortune resurfacing this road with special materials to increase traction when wet.  Each year it gets degraded when the city comes out to attempt to power wash off this graffiti (and the additional expense of SDOT crews dealing with it. I know folks will jump on me with innocent “tradition” comments.   What’s the difference between your kids spray painting their names on a public street and the “tagger” spray painting their names on the side of the freeway ?I feel that most of my west Seattle neighbors would be bothered by this if it was on THEIR street every year. 

    • ws kid June 19, 2024 (3:05 pm)

      Cry about it. Kids are being kids. Would you rather dead drunk teens on the side of the road? Or harmless traditional fun.

      • Charlestown Neighbor June 19, 2024 (5:05 pm)

        I certainly don’t want to see dead drunk kids on the side of the road, but I fail to see the connection.  In fact, quite a few of the kids that showed up to do this last night were obviously intoxicated.  And they didn’t walk to the hill, they arrived in numerous cars. 

    • Bill June 19, 2024 (8:09 pm)

      I have to say, the verbage in the graffiti was pretty tame. Check it out for yourself. The “F Pride” took some finding and I’m not even sure it was about Gay Pride. Find it yourself if you want and make your own decision. Looks like a cool tradition to me. Good for them! 

    • Nick June 20, 2024 (9:53 am)

      Hey Charlestown neighbor,it is my street. Has been for 20 years. Find some other thing to whine about. Proud? You are so concerned with your message of being persecuted that you manufacture reasons.Rock on, little person!n.

  • Gina June 19, 2024 (4:05 pm)

    Don’t Hassle the Hoff is pretty brilliant.

  • jissy June 19, 2024 (8:07 pm)

    Charlestown Neighbor:  I would bet Nick wasn’t one of the culprit’s but rather a neighborhood “man on the street” with some reporting to piggyback on the Blog story.  My bad if I’m wrong,   So if I am wrong, Shame on you, Nick.Straw man, WS Kid — hopefully you learned that one in one of your Logic classes.

  • Howard the Bitter June 20, 2024 (10:20 am)

    Good Lord! People getting spun up about kids being kids. They just finished High School and did so coming out of a global pandemic! Their entire freshman year was online! Additionally, this is something that happens at every high school everywhere — I did this on a street near my HS over 20 years ago. Lighten up Francis!

  • WS Alum June 22, 2024 (11:29 am)

    This is a harmless tradition that has been done every year for at least 40 years to my certain knowledge, and from what I hear for quite a bit longer than that. Complaining about it sounds like the folks who move in near Husky Stadium and then gripe about game day traffic. Cut the kids some slack.

  • Nicole July 6, 2024 (3:11 pm)

    Congratulations to the WSHS Class of 2024! Anyone know what schools the valedictorians are headed to? 

    • WS ‘24 Graduate July 6, 2024 (5:19 pm)

      Hi Nicole,Not sure where Clay is going, but Andy and Ben are going to University of Washington, Payson is going to University of Denver, Kamil is going to Columbia University, Jackie is going to Washington State, Leah is going to University of Maryland, and Nina and Sonya are going to American University

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