High school graduates walk


Staff writer

It’s that time of year again, when the phrase “pomp and circumstance” is used frequently.

Graduation ceremonies for most of Federal Way’s high schools –– including the first in Todd Beamer High’s history –– are scheduled next week.

In the past, Federal Way Public Schools has used an entire day to run through the graduating classes. But scheduling conflicts this year stretched the (there it is) pomp and circumstance from Monday to Thursday for four of the schools.

The time and location is the same for each graduation exercise: 8 p.m. at the Tacoma Dome. Attendees must have tickets to watch the graduates walk:

• Monday for Federal Way High.

• Tuesday for Beamer.

• Wednesday for Decatur High.

• Thursday for Thomas Jefferson High.

The total number of graduates wasn’t available this week from the school district.

Scheduled to speak at Beamer’s historic ceremony are the parents of the school’s namesake. He was among the passengers on one of the airliners hijacked by the 9-11 terrorists.

The graduation ceremony for Truman High, the alternative school, is scheduled for 2 p.m. July 1 at Steel Lake Presbyterian Church. The smallest of the graduating classes is typically the most emotional at graduation time, as students take turns thanking classmates, friends, teachers and families for helping them graduate. Most people –– even the thick-skinned variety –– have a tough time not shedding a few tears.

In a departure from previous years, School Board member Charles Hoff will attend graduation exercises. He’s the board’s president this year. In the past, Hoff stayed away from the ceremonies, stating many graduates hadn’t earned their diplomas and others didn’t exhibit the proper decorum.

Staff writer Mike Halliday: 925-5565,

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