Washington Evening Journal
http://washington-ia.villagesoup.com/p/1003534

Neighbors Growing Together | Jul 23, 2014

School ends for the Class of 2013

By David Hotle | May 17, 2013
Washington High School Principal Erik Buchholz addresses the Class of 2013 on procedures for senior class night and graduation commencement.

As the last school day began for Washington High School seniors Friday, the first thing senior exchange student Basoari Widaastudi did was join the line in the varsity gym to return her 1:1 computer.
With the countdown to return to her native Indonesia winding down, Widaastudi said her experience in the United States was “awesome.” She said that while she needs to return to Indonesia for at least one more year, she is planning to return to the United States the following year.
“I think I am going to miss the choir family,” she said. “I know them very well and I am going to miss them. I have lots of good friends and experiences. I have learned so many new things. I love it so much.”
Throughout the school, many students were getting done with last minute requirements before moving into the gym for practice graduation. The remaining events for them are senior class night, which begins at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Washington Community Center, and graduation, which begins at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, May 26 in the high school varsity gym.
As the seniors sat in the varsity bleachers and began getting instructions from Principal Erik Buchholz on how to compose themselves during the events, it began to sink in to many of the students that, after 13 years, they will be graduating.
“You guys are the very first class to have had no problems in terms of Homecoming, prom and senior skip day,” Buchholz said. “It never happened before.”
Buchholz told the Class of 2013 that at the end of last year he was concerned because many student leaders had graduated. He expressed pride when he said that many of the current seniors had stepped up to take over the roles.  He also encouraged the students to be safe as they celebrate their graduation. He warned that high school graduation is a beginning, not an end, and if a student is injured, it can impact that student’s life just as it is getting started.
Tyler Howard, son of Jamie Howard and Heather Schenk, said that he hadn’t quite wrapped his head around the fact that he will be graduating from high school.
“It hasn’t really kicked in yet,” he said. “It is just so surreal. It is happening so quickly.”
He said that his graduation plans are to get a full-time summer job before attending college.
Megan Reuscher, daughter of Teresa Mangold and Todd Reuscher, moved with her friends, after the instructions from Buchholz, into the auxiliary gym to rehearse the graduation ceremony. She also said so many things were happening so quickly the idea that she will soon graduate hadn’t set in.
“It’s pretty exciting,” she said. “I am just really happy to be here.”
She is moving on to Simpson College in the fall to major in biology-pre-veterinarian.
With a short time before he reports to finish advanced infantry training with the Army, Arturo Perez, son of Mario and Maria Perez, said he may be going to Afghanistan as early as September. He lined up with several of his friends to begin the practice graduation.
“It got here really, really fast,” he said. “It was faster than I expected. It is kind of a bittersweet feeling leaving people you have grown up with.”
Perez said that after he leaves the military, he hopes to go into law enforcement.

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