Curtis rolls the credits on his high school career

  - Lynsi Burton/staff photo
— image credit: Lynsi Burton/staff photo

For 20-year-old Curtis Baugous, the best part about graduating from high school is simple, if a bit defiant: “Proving people wrong.”

“There’s been a few people who didn’t think I could do it,” he said.

Baugous, who battled depression since middle school, tuned out of school, failing to find the help he wanted. He tried to live on his own for awhile and struggled to find work, bussing tables and doing landscape work here and there.

“I gave up on it and didn’t really care,” he said of his education.

But after being tempted several times to drop out, Baugous graduated from Renaissance High School in Bremerton this week, with aspirations to become a filmmaker.

Before transferring to Renaissance after 10th grade, Baugous was quiet and withdrawn, bearing the burden of family turmoil and not seeing much of a future for himself. In the past couple years, though, his outlook has turned around. He’s made more friends, describing himself as “pretty much a free bird,” and has high aspirations.

Baugous, a Stephen King and Quentin Tarantino fan, has made short films with his friends, a hobby which he now wants to make his life’s work.

He will probably start small and find a short-term job to make money for now, but eventually he wants to go to a prestigious film school — “Something that will get me making amazing films,” he said.

Renaissance High School Principal Lynn Caddell has seen the changes in Baugous, noting that he committed to his education during his time at the school.

“I’ve just seen him become determined to graduate,” Caddell said. “Curtis realized he could do this.”

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