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Forest Grove High Class of 2011 commences

Graduates walk across the stage ... click. Parents smile and hug their son or daughter ... click. Diplomas are hoisted overhead ... click.

Those were likely the most-photographed images Saturday morning during commencement ceremonies for Forest Grove High School's Class of 2011.

Held at Liberty High School in Hillsboro, the pomp-and-circumstance show saw about 400 seniors leave the local school system for greener pastures. It was a stellar group of grads this year, with more than $3.5 million in scholarships going to the top academicians.

Valedictorians Michael Dawson, Kyle Warren, Ryan Bolzle, Emily Hepler, Max Wilson-Fey, Juan Gonzalez, Tyler Pitt, Keaton Kell, Alexandria Long, Kristi Vandebergh, Nicholas Bristow, Melissa Lepschat, Kendra Duyck, Victor Rielly, Kyle Duyck, Arina Hunter, Sharon Rooker, Keri Vandebergh and Megan Clark got their moment in the sun, as did salutatorian Sandra Lopez.

Ian Knowles, student representative to the school board this year, earned a hug from Superintendent Yvonne Curtis.

But it was the grads themselves - and their grandparents, parents, siblings and friends - for whom the morning was made. See our graduation section in this issue for more photos and information.