On the morning of Sunday, June 16, approximately 325 Yelm High School students from the class of 2019 are expected to walk on stage and receive their high school diplomas, marking the first of many paramount steps the soon-to-be graduates will take on their way toward adulthood.
The special ceremony will take place at the Tacoma Dome at 9:30 a.m. and will be free to the public. Yelm Community Schools officials warn that attendees should take extra time into account for their commute, citing planned construction along Interstate 5.
“I think one thing we’ve noticed about this current class is that they’re very hard working, goal oriented. They’re a tight-knit group. They do a lot of activities together. From the very start they’ve been at YHS, they’ve been exemplary,” said Yelm High School Principal John Johnson. “I think you’d hear that from many, many of our staff.”
As attendees walk into the Tacoma Dome, photos of the seniors and their baby pictures will be displayed on a large monitor.
Staff and previous attendees will also note a change this year in seating, Johnson said. Because of recent reconfigurations to the Tacoma Dome, attendees will be seated on the sides of the graduating class instead of behind them. This will allow for better views and photo opportunities for friends and family.
The 90-minute ceremony will begin with some words from district administrators, as well as teachers. Johnson, Yelm High School teacher Jeremiah Hume, Assistant Principal Laura Conklin and former-Assistant Principal Thad Nelson will all give remarks to the graduating class.
Then, eight of the class’s salutatorians and valedictorians will address their class for the final time, providing words of encouragement and wisdom to peers.
“We’re just happy a number of students are able to share their experiences and talk with their fellow classmates for the last time. I think it’s important for student voice to be exhibited throughout this experience,” Johnson said.
Those speaking include Valedictorians Olivia Brownfield, Abbie Dorhauer, Taylor Gubser, Rachel Hall, Rebekah Hume, Hannah Sullivan, and Salutatorians Brooklynn Hillemann and Ty Hummel.
After speeches, students’ names will be called. Then, Superintendent Brian Wharton and the Yelm Community Schools Board of Directors will recognize the students as graduates.
Parking near the Tacoma Dome will cost $15. Doors will open at 9 a.m.