As they receive diplomas, Lynnwood High grads remember Sayon Savorn

The graduating class of 2019 from Lynnwood High School gathered at Edmonds Stadium Saturday afternoon, joined by a full house of their family and friends to be awarded their diplomas.

The ceremony began with a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem from graduating senior Shintaro Taneda. Taneda will be taking his musical talents to the San Francisco Conservatory of Music in the fall.
After welcome speeches from Principal Mike Piper and School Board Director Gary Noble, Valedictorian Jimmy Jhong addressed his fellow classmates with a humorously motivating speech, promoting the idea to be true to who you are and to live a simple life.
Former Lynnwood Principal David Golden was invited to be the faculty speaker for the day, and he encouraged the class of 316 Royals to follow the “Four Agreements.” The Four Agreements is a philosophy of life first put forward by the Toltec civilization, which flourished in Central Mexico during the 10th to mid-12th century.  They encourage one to:
1- Be impeccable with your word. To speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.
2- Don’t take anything personally. Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.
3- Don’t make assumptions. Find the courage to ask questions and the express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.
4- Always do your best. Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you as healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self abuse, and regret.
Connor Bjornson then took to the podium as student speaker with a motivating speech to his fellow graduates as well as an emotional tribute and a call for a moment of silence  remembering Sayon Savorn. Savorn was a member of this class who died by suicide a year ago. Many of the graduates wore a #11 (Sayon’s football jersey number) sticker on the underside of their caps in honor of him.
After receiving their diploma, each of the class officers made closing remarks.
-Personal Relations, Grace Teno
-Tim Shepel, Activities Coordinator
-Nicole Porter, Treasurer
-Noah Gronning, Secretary
-Nyamiri Tutlam, Vice President
-Max Rimando, President

The class then stood one last time as a group for the Lynnwood High School fight song performed by the combined Lynnwood High bands, conducted by Amy Stevenson, before parading out of the auditorium to the applause of a stadium of supporters.

— Story and photos by Scott Williams

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