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Pomp and jubilation for SHS class of 2008

It was pomp with an impish cartoon flair, as Sunnyside High School graduated 251 seniors during commencement exercises this past Friday.

Those arriving early for the sun-splashed festivities on Clem Senn Field were treated to the high school band's performance of theme songs from cartoon shows like the Flintstones and the Jetsons.

After high school principal Brian Hart thanked the band for "setting the tone," the refrain "Pomp and Circumstance" accompanied the procession of graduates-to-be.

A see-saw feel of urgent seriousness and light banter was further evident in speeches by Class Salutatorian Jacob Brandvold and Valedictorian Anthony Kim.

Brandvold spoke first and turned the notion of grads as the future on its ear.

"I don't think we want to be the future we see," Brandvold said in calling for a return to moral values. Brandvold said his faith helps him determine right from wrong. He encouraged his classmates to invest time in faith. "Invest in what lives forever, your soul."

Kim took the podium with a smile and from the get-go admitted he worked up his speech just the night before. He said graduates should be themselves and cherish the opportunity to graduate.

He praised his classmates for being trend setters, with firsts such as holding the senior prom outside under a tent.

Kim told the boys to not be afraid to cry and the girls not to let the boys deter them from what they want to do. "We're not worth it," he laughed.

Based on a vote by the senior class, Dave Martinez was the faculty speaker for Friday's ceremony.

Martinez drew laughter early on when he said one faculty member advised him to "wing it" when it came to preparing for the speech.

Martinez, an advisor to this year's graduates back when they were freshmen, took a more serious tone and reminded them to develop strong relationships.

Admitting he has made his share of mistakes, Martinez told the class to remember that "it's OK to make mistakes and move on."

When mistakes happen-and they will, he reminded the grads-Martinez said, "Reflect and pick yourself up and start over."

With that, it was time to set about the business of dishing out more than $1.7 million in scholarships and grants.

It was serious money, but accompanied with smiles and cheers as graduates received the reward for four years of hard work.

The tone turned downright jubilant, then, when it came time to distribute diplomas to the class of 2008.

It was pomp and laughter, sober expressions and smiles, just like the whole evening had been.

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