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Reflection, emotion themes at Wahluke High School graduation

by CHERYL SCHWEIZER
Staff Writer | June 10, 2024 1:30 AM

MATTAWA — Every school has traditions at graduation, some formal, some not. It’s a tradition at Wahluke High School graduation that the gym will not only be full, but so full it’s standing room only. That tradition continued when the class of 2024 graduated Friday night. 

It’s also a tradition that graduation is an emotional ceremony, although that’s not unique to Wahluke. That tradition also continued when guest of honor Matt Watrus choked up a little during his speech. 

The class of 2024 entered high school in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it left its mark. Class president Valerie Adame Hernandez remembered their eighth-grade promotion ceremony was canceled. But the seniors faced and beat that and many other challenges. 

“We never gave up,” she said. “Instead we pushed and pushed on, understanding that every obstacle we overcame made us stronger.”

A complete story on WHS graduation will be published in the Columbia Basin Herald Lifestyle section Wednesday.


    Guest of Honor Matt Watrus got a special gift, his own Wahluke High School jacket, in recognition of his years helping students.