Rainier High School Celebrates Class of 2022 at Graduation

By Jacob Dimond / jake@yelmonline.com
Posted 6/14/22

Rainier High School celebrated 53 seniors during its 2022 commencement ceremony on Friday, June 10.

Beginning at 6 p.m., hundreds of spectators made up of friends and family gathered to witness …

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Rainier High School Celebrates Class of 2022 at Graduation

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Rainier High School celebrated 53 seniors during its 2022 commencement ceremony on Friday, June 10.

Beginning at 6 p.m., hundreds of spectators made up of friends and family gathered to witness the seniors graduate.

The ceremony began with the usual rendition of “Pomp and Circumstances” as all of the graduating seniors filed into the gymnasium at Rainier High School. Once they were all settled, seniors David Cano III and Sean Mahaffey, the masters of ceremony, took to the podium for their opening messages.

The two displayed their sense of humor as they reflected on several memories over the years, featuring sports and stories from the classroom. Eventually, co-valedictorians Faith Boesch, Jeremiah Nubbe and Selena Niemi took to the podium.

Like Cano and Mahaffey, each of the three students took the opportunity on the podium as a chance to reflect on their time at Rainier and thank those who helped them along the way. The three thanked the facility from top to bottom, from their principal to their janitorial staff. Then, each of the valedictorians touched on what their future holds.

Niemi, who was accepted into every Ivy League school in the country, will attend Stanford University to study human biology. Nubbe will head to the University of Texas to throw for the Longhorns’ track and field program. He plans on studying aerospace engineering. Boesch will attend the United States Air Force Academy this fall, and plans to study political science.

Following the valedictorians, senior Natasha Salinas-Wood presented a video honoring the Class of 2022. The video displayed a photo of a young graduate, then a photo of the slightly older graduate before showing their senior photos.



After the senior video, Nubbe returned to the podium to present the senior gift.

“Since athletics played such a big part in our days at Rainier High School, we felt our senior gift should represent that,” Nubbe said before announcing the Class of 2022 had donated a scoring table to the school.

Principal John Beckman took to the podium for the presentation of seniors. As each senior’s name was called during the commencement ceremony, those in attendance clapped and cheered.

“First of all, I want to congratulate the Class of 2022. I certainly appreciated their flexibility throughout all the COVID times. They didn’t complain and stayed positive, even after missing out on many fun activities,” Beckman told the Nisqually Valley News after the ceremony. “I believe that adversity makes them stronger, and I hope they can rely on that strength as they move into the real world.”

When asked about the overall state of Rainier’s Class of 2022, Beckman was quick to give a high review of the graduates.

“Collectively, this group of seniors is very exceptional. They’re all super talented. Our co-valedictorians set the tone but we had a great group of students behind them who helped shape the class out as well,” Beckman said. “I want to thank them from the bottom of my heart. Often as a principal during the pandemic, you have to be the bearer of bad news to them with canceling of events and whatnot. I felt bad that they had to miss out on so much, but I’m also so grateful that they always kept moving forward.”

Immediately following the graduation ceremony, seniors took to their vehicles to hit the roads for a parade celebrating their accomplishments. Led by a firetruck and police escort, seniors celebrated with residents who lined the streets as the parade worked its way through the city.

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