The best and ‘knight’est

Michelle Abad was one of 12 students that were knighted at Bremerton High School. - Photo by Jesse Beals
Michelle Abad was one of 12 students that were knighted at Bremerton High School.
— image credit: Photo by Jesse Beals

Eighteen seniors Tuesday took their place in school history as the newly knighted class of 2005.

C’havala Jaramillo, Heather Baas, Hope Henderson, Dominique Ragains, L’Oreal Kennedy, Pauline Torrella, Khara Croswaite, Christina Curtis, Joseph Hegtvedt, Laura Croswaite, Genifel Sasis, Aneshia Savard, Michelle Abad, Madeline Miller, Buddy Bennett, Julie Siemens, Megan Alexander and Lee Durdahl all got the tap on the shoulder and took their place on stage.

While the students knew they had been nominated, they didn’t know who would be knighted until the ceremony, which was in the Performing Arts Center.

But that’s part of the fun.

“It’s a pretty unbelievable experience,” Durdahl said.

“I’ve always been noticed as an athlete and I’ve wanted to be noticed as a student,” he said.

Among Durdahl’s accomplishments are a 3.9 GPA, being on the varsity basketball team and volunteering at Harrison Hospital’s Festival of Trees.

Steeped in tradition, the Bremerton High School knighting ceremony honors the students who have contributed to their school and community.

“Just being nominated is an honor in itself,” said teacher Mike McKnight who along with Craig Smith announced the chosen.

The nominees, their families and the rest of the senior class waited anxiously as the ceremony began with the induction of new senior class officers.

Then the knighting began.

Junior class officers dressed in blue graduation robes ran up and down the aisles as a drum roll built anticipation. Where they would stop no one knew. Then silence and a name.

Surprise doesn’t cover it.

“I almost peed my pants. It’s one of the highest honors in the school,” Siemens said about being knighted.

Students knelt on a blue velvet pillow at the foot of the Knight to receive their title.

The road to knighthood began years earlier when the students began their high school careers. They made a name for themselves through their academics, community service, and involvement in school activities. Each year 10 percent of the senior class is nominated by their peers. From there nominees respond to a questionnaire and write an essay on what becoming a Knight means to them.

Siemens, who has a 3.5 GPA, was a cheerleader for three years and is an active member of her church, believes being knighted means a person has been a good role model.

“Being knighted marks a person of integrity, involvement and leadership. It is one of the greatest honors and the most treasured,” said Alexander, who is interim ASB president, a member of the BHS newspaper staff and the swim team captain.

In addition to the knighting, one lucky student won a Honda Civic in a drawing. Chelsea Eastin, a junior and one of the “tappers,” won the car after officials drew her name. Students could enter the drawing by earning “K-notes” for good behavior. Eastin earned two, which she had just turned in that morning.

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