Every parent goes through milestones, and without a doubt one of them is watching your child graduate from High School. Last night Kellen went through his graduation ceremony from Puget Sound Community School, and while I naturally have high regard for him, it's great to see his classmates do, too.
A PSCS graduation ceremony is different than in other high schools. Since it's a small school, the ceremony can be held in a more intimate setting; we were in the Bathhouse Theater on Green Lake. As you can see, all the students are on the stage and everyone else is in the audience.
Since there were so many graduates, they split honoring the students into groups, in order of least to most tenure at the school; a pot luck was held before the last group, which included Josie (4 years), Kellen (6 years), and Andrew (8 years).
Each student first presents his or her credo, stating one's core beliefs. Kellen chose to include some multimedia components with his, showing some video of him doing Parkour. Kellen posted his credo (along with the video) on his blog, as well as his other senior work.
After presenting the credo, each student chose someone to introduce him or her to the rest of the audience, giving some context of the student's life outside of school. Kellen asked Nancy Palmer (the librarian at his previous school which he attended since he was three) to present him, and she did a great job. Nancy even brought along a drawing of her that Kellen had done when he must have been five or six.
After the introduction comes a time when anyone in the room can tell a story or say how they appreciate Kellen. Many people spoke of his Parkour skills; his Parkour friends outside of school all said how dedicated and patient he is, as well as how good he is at coaching others. Several spoke of his quiet demeanor but how when he speaks people do stop to listen. Tynor announced that people better get ready for photos since he was going to ask Kellen for a hug; Tynor was so fast I didn't get the shot!
Once the stories and appreciations had come to a close, Andy (the PSCS director) presented Kellen with his diploma and at that moment Kellen was a graduate. To say I'm proud of him is an understatement; Kellen not only worked hard at meeting the graduation requirements, he also worked hard to make sure he had the skills he needed to do so. He's obviously had a positive impact on many people, and has shown that he's ready to move on to the next stage of his life.
I put together a slide show for Kellen's graduation (using the Animoto online service), including pictures from birth through this year.