Michael Ray Barbour accepts his Sequim High School diploma from Sequim schools superintendent Gary Neal on Aug. 5. Michael Dashiell/Olympic Peninsula News Group

Michael Ray Barbour accepts his Sequim High School diploma from Sequim schools superintendent Gary Neal on Aug. 5. Michael Dashiell/Olympic Peninsula News Group

A graduation of one: SHS celebrates newest grad thanks to summer school work

SEQUIM — No doubt about it — Michael Ray Barbour’s 2017 Sequim High School graduation won’t be soon forgotten.

After coming up just short of credits during the 2016-2017 school year, Barbour finished off requirements for his degree during the summer school session.

That led to what might be Sequim High’s first summer school graduation ceremony — for one student.

Barbour received some well wishes, some words of encouragement and his diploma in front of a group of friends and family, SHS staffers Kevin Phillips and Sonia Miller, and Sequim schools Superintendent Gary Neal, on Aug. 5.

“I just lost track of what I wanted to do,” Barbour said.

“I thought about [coming back next school year] but I just realized I needed to get it done now.”

Phillips, the appointed faculty speaker at Saturday’s event, said he will miss Barbour’s jokes, low-key attitude and guitar-playing skills.

“He worked really hard this summer — I was impressed,” Phillips said.

Neal said Barbour’s accomplishment was worthy of celebration.

“We need to look at a lot of different ways [to take the next step],” Neal said. “This feels pretty good. It’s rekindled my spirit, got me excited again.”

Barbour said his next goal is getting a job, likely in something very familiar: the auto mechanics field.

“My family has been in auto mechanic [business] for the longest time,” he said.

The new graduate said he wasn’t nervous having the spotlight on him.

“It was fun,” Barbour said. “I was looking forward to it.”

________

Michael Dashiell is the editor of the Sequim Gazette of the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which also is composed of other Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News and Forks Forum. Reach him at [email protected].

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