For the last time as students of Kelso High, the Class of 2019 embraced the "We Are Kelso" manta Saturday during the school's 111th commencement ceremony.
"I know I am not alone in saying this: The familiar words 'We are Kelso' have helped me see how united this community is," said senior Sarai Gonzalez-Martinez.
Gonzalez-Martinez said the Kelso community helped her succeed in school despite being an non-native English speaker. Kelso also cared for her family after her mother died, she said.
"My family and friends demonstrated the 'We are Kelso' (mentality)," she said. "Their advice and kind words helped me to move forward and not feel alone."
Senior Levi Redmill reflected fondly on his years in Kelso while writing his speech about how caring and supportive the teachers and community members in the town are, he said.
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"Kelso High School is my second home, because what more is a home than (somewhere) where people care about you?" Redmill said.
Like Redmill, the majority of Kelso seniors attended the district for almost all of their K-12 school years.
Senior Megan Johnson encouraged her classmates to cherish every experience as it it were their last chance to do that thing, just like graduation.
"This right here is an experience you will never forget," she said.