The Woodburn, North Marion, Gervais and Mount Angel school districts held graduation ceremonies for their high school seniors this past weekend.

Hundreds of our area’s brightest young men and women walked the stage to collect the diploma they’ve been working toward for the past four years, and we were delighted to be there to help give them their much-deserved applause, along with their family and friends.

Whether you were among them or not, we hope you’ll enjoy our extensive coverage of the class of 2014 and the various graduation ceremonies in this issue.

We hope you also take time to read the inspirational front-page story of?Edwin Martinez, a teenager who gives new meaning to the word “indomitable.”?In addition to the educational, social, athletic, financial and — let’s face it — hormonal challenges we all go through in our high school years, Edwin met and overcame something many people two or three times his age have not:?cancer.

Edwin’s story is on the front page because we believe that is where it belongs. Not because the specifics of his struggle have personally touched everyone, but rather, because his courage and strength of spirit are universally identifiable, worthy of recognition and emulation.

His story is one of several we’ve shared recently, of students overcoming adversity on their way to success. There are many more that could be told. The completion of a 12-year education is an achievement in and of itself, which is why we have given it the coverage we feel it deserves.

We know “the media” (which seems to be practically a curse word in some circles) has a reputation for bringing its consumers nothing but the worst side of humanity: negative news, sensationalized stories and grotesque images. But we don’t feel this is a fair characterization of our publication, or many other community newspapers, for that matter.

No doubt, bad things happen, and when they have a broad impact or occur in the public sphere, it is our duty to report them. This is part of telling the story of Woodburn, which we have striven to do for more than 125 years.

But we would be neglecting that same duty were we to ignore the triumphs and achievements of our neighbors.

“No news like bad news”? May it never be said of the Woodburn Independent.

Contract Publishing

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