‘We can be remarkable’: Scriber Lake High School graduates 34

Scriber Lake High School students at commencement.
The anticipation and a little nervousness before graduation.
Before the ceremony.

When asked how graduating from high school compared to other highlights of his life, Christopher Murphy said, “It’s really up there. It really, really is. Like top three.”

The rest of his 33 classmates from Scriber Lake High School probably had the same sentiment, as they celebrated graduation Wednesday night at Edmonds School District Stadium.

Family and friends show their support.

The sunny evening provided the perfect setting for these students and their proud parents and friends.

Student John Henderson played a strong performance of the national anthem on his trumpet, followed by an acknowledgment to the Indigenous Americans of this region. He said, “We gratefully acknowledge the native peoples on whose ancestral homelands we gather, as well as the diverse and vibrant native communities who make their home here today: The people of the Duwamish, Skokomish, Snohomish, Snoqualmie, Suquamish, and other Coast Salish tribes.”

John Henderson plays the national anthem.

Principal Mike Piper gave words of wisdom for the students to take with them:  “I’d like to provide you with three simple reminders as you head into your future.

“Reminder 1: You are strong. Don’t let anyone or any situation make you feel different.  Yes, there will be times when you get tired, times when you feel weak, and times when you feel like you don’t have it in you. It’s all part of being human. You do and always will have a strength that you need. You got this. You are strong. Never stop reminding yourself of your power.

Mike Piper, Scriber High principal.

“Reminder 2: You are beautiful and precious. There is only one of you, and there will only ever be one of you. You are the rarest of treasures of infinite value. Sometimes this world can have a way of making it hard to remember this, but this is true. Protect this truth dearly. And create healthy boundaries with systems and people that try to hide this truth from you.

“Reminder 3: Your future is bright. Our primary mission at Scriber is to get you thinking, preparing, and planning for your future. There may be times when you feel stuck or lost. These moments, however hard they may be, are temporary. You are amazing and your journey will take you to incredible places.”

There were six student class speakers who spoke next. The highlights of each are as follows:

Student class speaker Sage Wansley.

Sage Wansley: “I’ve been to three high schools just in my junior year alone and Scriber has by far been the best–not only the support from the staff, but the community and family as well.  At my other high schools, I was told that I wouldn’t graduate, and I didn’t have much of a chance, but the second I got here, everything changed for me. I have met some amazing people who supported me and helped me get to the point that I am in now and I am extremely grateful for the staff here.”

Student class speaker J Angelus McGrath.

Angelus McGrath:  “Every time I’ve struggled — both mentally or physically — do you want to know what I’ve thought? ‘Time will pass.’

“Time will always pass.  It can’t not. That’s the whole idea of it  When I get immobilized by body paralysis, when I can’t leave my house in terror of who’s out there, before I know it, it’ll be tomorrow, and it’ll be different tomorrow.  Probably better. “

Student class speaker Andrew Lean.

Andrew Lean: “My main goal over the years was to pick up knowledge and wisdom everywhere I went. It was important to me to be a mature and healthy being as I was taking on an early adulthood at a young age. During this time, school became less of a priority and Scriber really helped pull me back in and navigate the moments where I felt behind and alone. Now I’m leaving with the most confidence and wisdom I’ve ever embodied.  Although I’m not sure where the road is going to take me I have trust in myself moving forward. I’d like to thank the teachers who have made this possible for me.”

Student class speaker Bailey Rydeen.

Bailey Rydeen:  “Today we celebrate our achievements, hardships, and the beginning of a new chapter in our lives. When I look at my fellow graduates, I can’t help but feel proud of every single one of you. We made it. Getting a diploma is not easy, but we achieved it.

“I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for Scriber Lake High School and the incredible staff that truly care for its students. Thank you for making high school a bit more bearable. “

Student class speaker Juniper DeCasso.

Juniper DeCasso: “I’m proud to say I will be attending Cornish College of Arts this fall, where I’ll be diversifying my knowledge and love for film. I hope my film will entice the future generations of Scriber Lake High School students to break the false narratives of what an alternative learning experience can hold as they embrace the remarkable opportunity to become a part of a community of learners, artists, survivors, entrepreneurs, dreamers and optimists.”

Student class speaker Jesus Ruiz.

Jesus Ruiz: “Like everyone else attending this ceremony, I’m a living reminder that we are more than our past mistakes. We are more than the unimaginable circumstances we live through. We are here and we can be remarkable.”

Before introducing the scholarship awards, Assistant Principal Henry Shaw said:  “As you leave Scriber Lake High School, you will distinguish yourselves with your intelligence, hard work, and deep love for your fellow man. Those three qualities are guaranteed to build a golden road of success for each of you.”

Assistant Principal Henry Shaw.
Faculty speaker Peter Folta. “We’re going to miss you. We love seniors. And if nobody out there tells you they’re proud of you, we’re all proud of you. I promise that.”
Students receiving diplomas.

Shaw then introduced eight scholarship groups that awarded generous amounts for tuition to several students.

As a final request, Principal Piper gave the instruction:  “You may turn your tassels.”  After doing so, the students took off their mortarboards and flung them into the air.

Getting back to new graduate Christopher: He pretty much spoke for every one of his classmates once again  when he said at the reception: “I’m having a great time!  I got my flower.  I got my diploma.  People say ‘Congratulations!’ to me, which is surreal.”


After-graduation reception in the courtyard.


— Story and photos by David Carlos


  1. Scriber Lake High School is a hidden gem with outstanding and welcoming educators and students. It transformed our grandson’s life from the day he started last fall. Congrats to this year’s graduates and to the talented staff who helped them realize their worth and abilities!

  2. Congratulations to all the graduates, it proof how much Scriber is truly needed, our daughter was also enrolled at Scriber many years ago and has become a fantastic young lady that benefited more than I ever thought she would! I truly believe ifs because of Scribers staff and students. They taught her how to believe in herself, to always do the right thing, and listen to all sides. I hope the district finds a solution to make sure this school stays open with the staff it and the community deserves.

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