I spoke at my high school’s graduation ceremony this past Saturday, and it sure brought back a lot of memories. Some things have changed–the elementary school and the high school have been combined, and have a much nicer paint-job–but a lot was the same.
The class of 2009 numbers 16 grads; we had 13 in my class.
The festivities were held in the gymnasium, and I do believe I stood at the very same podium that was there back in 67, when I gave my painfully earnest valedictorian’s address.
For all its small size, Northport High School has produced a remarkable number of successful, solid citizens–teachers, geologists, entrepenuers, and a couple of writers, too. (Suspense writer Donna Anders is a Northport girl, too.) At least one grad attended Yale. The town is tiny, with limited resources, but it still has one big plus: it’s like a family. People pull together, and everybody cares how the kids turn out. The classes are small, so students get the individual attention they need. There was a lot of emphasis placed on school spirit in my day–go Mustangs!–and I’m happy to say that is still true.
I am proud to be from Northport, although, as a teenager, I couldn’t wait to get away and explore the big world. I did that, and it was wonderful. Being from a small town has its advantages. The kids tend to be confident because they grow up knowing everyone, and therefore nobody is really a stranger.
Things are different, and the same.
And no matter where I live, that winding road between Colville (pronounced CALL-ville) and Northport, following the course of the Columbia River, will always be the road home…