Over 125 graduate from Waimea High

WAIMEA — Perseverance. Resiliency. Dedication.

Waimea High School’s valedictorians of the Class of 2017 summed up their high school careers with those words in front of hundreds of family, friends and classmates at the school’s graduation ceremony on Friday on campus.

“We’ve all been resilient throughout high school, but none of us would’ve been successful without any support,” said Charlene Corotan, one of three valedictorians for the WHS class of 2017. “No matter how much we struggled through these things, we remained strong and we kept on working hard.”

Corotan was among 126 Waimea High School graduates who will take the next step in life’s journey.

Valedictorian BreeAnn Cayaban said perseverance got the class through high school.

“You have to withstand people going against you and have to stay strong for yourself,” she said.

Trials await, she said, “but if you continue to achieve as much as you want to breathe, then you will be successful.”

The knowledge the class gained in the four years at Waimea will guide them in their lives, said Robyn Acob, the school’s third valedictorian.

“All this hard work we put into our schooling and education is something we should be proud of because we are all together proving that we overcame all academic obstacles our teachers threw at us,” she said. “We are here tonight showing ourselves, our friends and our families that through our dedication, we could do anything.”

Principal Mahina Anguay offered graduates advice from the playbook of former University of Hawaii football coach Dick Tomey.

The expectations she spelled out came full circle for the graduates, as she first explained them to the students during their first school assembly in August 2013.

“Whenever you begin something new or are challenged to master a new skill, go into it with the mindset that you will win,” she said.

And when things seem impossible, have backup plans.

It’s all about putting in your full effort, she added.

“Making sure you do the hard work and preparation every day, all the time, even when nobody is watching, so that you are in position to win at the end because, remember, we ultimately expect to win.”

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