WASILLA — On Tuesday, Mat-Su Career and Technical High School and Redington Junior/Senior High School seniors celebrated their graduations, the former at the Curtis D. Menard Center and the latter at their own school. Both schools’ graduates expressed bittersweet emotions, musing over the time they spent together yet excited none the less for the next steps to the rest of their lives.

“The class of 2019, I finally get to say it, we’ve made it, the day we worked so hard for…” Redington 2019 Master of Ceremony Elias Benson said.

Benson noted in his speech that Redington’s graduating class is the first freshman class to attend all four years at the new school. He said this class grew through their various stages and milestones together.

“We encouraged one another, embraced awkward stages and got through our first slow dance in high school together. That was rough. I should remember,” Benson said.

The crowd bellowed with laughter and the ensuing one liner over a thought experiment really got them going. He said the senior class answered a hypothetical question.

“Let’s all do the math. What would it look like if everybody made as little effort as possible… but if you continue to do absolutely nothing with your adulthood, the only job you would be absolutely qualified for is a seat in the U.S. Senate,” Benson said. “We can’t settle for anything in life. We can’t be complacent…. We need to do what we love and reach for the stars.”

Benson thanked his parents for encouraging him to reach for the stars and he thanked all his teachers for mentoring and helping to shape all the 2019 graduates into the young adult standing their today.

“Well, I knew I’d have to get to this part of the speech, saying goodbye. Dear class of 2019, my peers, my friends, we did it… we shared many good times,” Benson said.

Benson wished his peers the best of luck.

“If you’re scared, don’t feel alone. I’ll tell you a little secret. There are 39 other kids in the exact same situation boat as you right now… our new chapter in the book of life will begin and I can’t wait to see where it takes us,” Benson said.

Both schools began their ceremonies at 7 p.m. and both took about an hour to complete. Around the same general time, the two 2019 classes ceremoniously flipped their tassels from the right to the left, signifying the period at the end of a sentence that is adolescence. Caps were thrown and streamers fell to the ground as everyone cheered for their sons and daughters, for the latest generation to enter adulthood.

MSCTHS graduate Cade Holland is pursuing a career in criminal justice, aspiring to become a detective. He said that he would prefer to work down in the Lower 48. He said that he feels relieved to be done with the stresses of high school, looking for

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