PHOTOS: Whittell High School emphasizes ‘family’ during 2018 commencement ceremony |

PHOTOS: Whittell High School emphasizes ‘family’ during 2018 commencement ceremony

Students throw their graduation caps in the air following the turning of the tassel.
Maggie Mayer / Tahoe Daily Tribune

George Whittell High School celebrated 37 graduates in Saturday’s commencement ceremony, which emphasized the tight bond felt because of the school’s small size.

Whether it came from students or faculty members, “family” quickly became a dominant theme in the commencement speeches. The graduation was held in the school gymnasium.

Class Valedictorian Corey Huber said Whittell means home to its students and teachers.

“In the end, I wouldn’t change anything. We are the Whittell family and that will never change,” he said.

Salutatorian Gabriela Trachsel, Student Body President Dylan Kixmiller and Senior Class President Tatum Bunnett also spoke.

Phil Bryant, the athletic director and dean of students, gave a keynote address.

“Whether you finish at the top of your class or the bottom of your class, you can still do great things,” he said. “Everyone needs something to do, everyone needs someone to believe in them and every body needs something to hope for.”

Principal Crespin Esquivel emphasized the virtues of service, hope, kindness and creativity.

“Kindness costs nothing, but it can mean everything to someone else,” he said.

About half of the class had been in school together since kindergarten.

Most of the graduates are headed to two or four year institutions after graduation, including the University of Nevada Reno and Las Vegas, University of California Santa Barbara, George Mason University, Chapman University and Arizona State.

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