‘Let’s begin with the end in mind’: A joyful celebration for Edmonds-Woodway’s Class of 2022

The senior class convinced a few graduates to do backflips as they received their diplomas.

Edmonds School District Stadium was packed on Saturday evening as family and friends came together to watch the Edmonds-Woodway High School graduating Class of 2022 receive their diplomas.

Band members play welcome music as guests make their way to their seats.
Students wave to family and friends as they enter the stadium.

Faculty speaker Michael Simon and student speaker Mihin Wijayasundra encouraged the graduating class to never be afraid to fail.

Faculty speaker Michael Simon told students that growing up doesn’t mean that students have to stop having fun.

“Don’t get paralyzed by your failures,” Simon said. “Learn from them and move forward.”

Student speaker Mihin Wijayasundra thanked everyone in his life for getting him to this point, including the dogs that chased him in the streets of Sri Lanka.

Wijayasundra agreed with Simon.

“It’s not failure that stops most,” he said. “But most stop at their first failure.”

Wijayasundra went on to say that by surrounding himself with true friends who allowed him to fail but continued to help him grow made him the best version of himself.

“You have all been a part of my journey here,” he said. “I would not be the captain, athlete, musician or student I am today without you. And for that, I say thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

Simon told the graduates they had plenty of time to be adults and urged them to spend their young years exploring and truly figuring out who they are as people.

“Just because you’re going to get old, doesn’t mean you have to get overly serious,” he said. “Take this time when you are young and have no real responsibilities and find your bliss. One day you may wake up and realize you only have so much time left to be happy, and that should scare you. So try not to wait so long.”

Student speaker George Quintans encouraged students to “begin with the end in mind.”

Another student speaker, George Quintans, told graduates to, “Begin with the end in mind.” As they step into adulthood, he reminded his peers to keep their eyes set on the end goal, whatever that may look like for each of them.

Graduate Nikki Lyons sings “Both Sides Now” by Joni Mitchell.
Lyons received a standing ovation from most of her classmates.
Graduates receive their diplomas and pose for photos.


Caps are tossed
Post-graduation celebration.




–Photos and story by Lauren Reichenbach

  1. What a wonderful ceremony and celebration for these kids and their families! Still sad to have missed the Pomp and circumstance for class of 2020. Such a rite of passage

  2. I love seeing all of this happiness. I also loved the one with Both Sides Now by Joni Mitchell. It was one of my favorites when she first sang it and today remains a constant favorite. I listen to it frequently. Such a wise song it is. And it is very very true for many people, including me an older person. Thank you for that. Now go have some fun and plan for your future. I expect many are already doing that and I applaud you. Xo

  3. Agreed Ms. Arthur, Joni Mitchell is a tremendous talent and songwriter. Many great songs just to name a couple additional- “Free Man in Paris,” “River.” She is truly wonderful to listen to. Great choice.

    Best of luck to all the graduates!

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