Graduation 2015: Scriber Lake students honor principal who ‘wills them to succeed’

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Retiring principal Cathy Clift, flanked by class speakers Leslie Sanabria and Mitch Fratini, was presented with her own mortarboard in honor of her "graduation" into retirement after a 40-year career in education, the last 13 of which were spent a principal of Scriber Lake High School. (Photos by Larry Vogel)
Retiring principal Cathy Clift, flanked by class speakers Leslie Sanabria and Mitch Fratini, was presented with her own mortarboard in honor of her “graduation” into retirement after a 40-year career in education, the last 13 of which were spent a principal of Scriber Lake High School. (Photos by Larry Vogel)

More than 500 students, family, friends and faculty gathered Wednesday evening in the Scriber High School gymnasium to honor this year’s graduating class. In a ceremony marked by laughter, applause, tears, hugs and smiles, 61 seniors received diplomas from Scriber principal Cathy Clift and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Nick Brossoit.

In addition to the graduating seniors, one very special graduate was singled out for particular honors. After a 40-year career in education, the last 13 of which have been spent at the helm of Scriber, Principal Cathy Clift is retiring.

Assistant Superintendent of Schools Dr. Patrick Murphy praised Clift as “someone who never gives up on her students, believes in second, third, and fourth chances, and simply wills them to succeed.” Clift received a standing ovation and numerous hugs and handshakes from parents, faculty, students, administrator and school board members at the conclusion of the ceremony.

Associate Principal Andrea Hillman will take over as principal. She vowed to carry on the leadership, compassion and dedication exemplified by Clift.

Scriber grads

Nervous seniors line up outside the gymnasium preparing for the ceremony.
Nervous seniors line up outside the gymnasium preparing for the ceremony.
Joshua Abarta, Gerardo Atreaga and Joshua Blair flash the victory sign as they prepare to receive their diplomas.
Joshua Abarta, Gerardo Atreaga and Joshua Blair flash the victory sign as they prepare to receive their diplomas.
Associate principal Andrea Hillman will take over as principal of Scriber Lake High School.
Associate principal Andrea Hillman will take over as principal of Scriber Lake High School.
Chris Brown, a 20-year faculty member, congratulated each student as they walked up to receive their diplomas.
Chris Brown, a 20-year faculty member, congratulated each student as they walked up to receive their diplomas.
A number of scholarships were presented from the Edmonds School District Foundation, the local Rotary and Kiwanis Clubs, and others.  Here Mitch Fratini hold up his certificate for a $1,500 scholarship presented by the Edmonds Kiwanis Club.
A number of scholarships were presented from the Edmonds School District Foundation, the local Rotary and Kiwanis Clubs, and others. Here Mitch Fratini hold up his certificate for a $1,500 scholarship presented by the Edmonds Kiwanis Club.
Class speaker Leslie Sanabria told her personal story of failed attempts to succeed and fit in at other schools, and how she was finally able to find herself and realize her dreams at Scriber.  She thanked Principal Cathy Clift, the faculty and all her fellow students for simply "letting me in and being here for me."
Class speaker Leslie Sanabria told her personal story of failed attempts to succeed and fit in at other schools, and how she was finally able to find herself and realize her dreams at Scriber. She thanked Principal Cathy Clift, the faculty and all her fellow students for simply “letting me in and being here for me.”

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