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Seniors reach their high school milestone Friday

By: Stephanie Dumm, News Messenger Reporter
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The excitement in the air was palpable Friday night at Lincoln High School as friends and relatives watched seniors graduate. Cheers and yelling were heard as the 316 seniors walked onto the football field at Lincoln High, in order of tallest to shortest. Family members were armed with noisemakers, air-horns and the occasional drum to ensure their graduate could hear just how special the occasion was. “My brother is graduating, which is great and I’m proud,” said Steve Jay of Lincoln. “Nobody else in my family has graduated.” Before graduation started, seniors were a flurry of nervous excitement as they hugged one another and helped straighten caps and gowns for one another. “It needs to hurry up because we’ve been waiting all year and all this week. I’m very excited to graduate,” Raymond Caster said, who will now either join the military or move out of state. “I’ll miss just being around everyone, talking to everyone.” Victoria Binning, one of four salutatorians is looking forward to “sleeping and no homework” until she moves to Willamette University in the fall. “I am so excited to be moving on to another phase in my life,” Katherine Cayago, another salutatorian, said before graduation. She will study bio-medical engineering at University of California at Davis. The commencement ceremony started off with a speech by senior class president Olivia Agundes, who reminisced about the class’s journey from elementary school to high school. “The first day of high school is so fresh in my mind,” Agundes said. “I consider this class one of the luckiest ones and I look back at all we have accomplished.” The four co-salutatorians, Deidre Graham, Cayago, Binning and Rachel Lloyd; gave their speech simultaneously. “Our future has been secured by what we have learned and our voyage has been a hard journey but is to be celebrated,” the quartet said. Valedictorian Pavan Vadgama also gave a speech but the crowd noise and low volume of the speakers made it almost impossible to hear what he said. Principal Dave Butler said a few words before the seniors walked the stage, talking about this year’s senior class and the successes of several of the school’s sports teams. “It’s been a great year for Lincoln High School,” Butler said. “Lincoln High School and myself are very proud of the accomplishments of this class. It’s been my pleasure to know the class of 2010.” During the speeches, it seemed as if the class of 2010 was enjoying being kids one last time as they blew up beach balls and balloons, passing them around to classmates. The inflatable items were confiscated by teachers and administrators. Cheering increased when Jared Barry walked the stage. “He’s been very ill, and he made it back to graduate and receive his diploma,” said Butler, who wouldn’t go into specifics about Barry’s illness out of respect for his family. “I think it’s fantastic.” After graduation, friends, family and graduates convened on the field. “I’m excited for her, for her future and what it holds,” Sherri Dornbush said of daughter, Emmalee Dornbush.