Our 2018 Valedictorian, Braden, wrote an eloquent speech at graduation this year that perfectly embodies a student’s perspective of the mission of our school. Here are some excerpts from his speech:

‘Eastside creates an environment where you can succeed on your own terms, provided you have the motivation to act on that ability. Unlike public schools that will fail you out or hold you back if you fail, EA gives you every chance to make something of yourself. See, there’s a difference between a free ride and teacher who care about you and want to see you succeed.’

‘Let’s talk about those teachers for a second. When I first came here and saw the teachers first names stuck to their doors, I knew I was gonna be dealing with human beings, rather than education machines… Here, we got actual mentors. People with stories to share. Before Eastside, my opinion o a teacher would begin and end with how much homework they gave me, but I would say I had a great relationship with every staff member.’

‘In fact, I made friends with people I would never had made friends with if there wasn’t so few of us per classroom. With a different Breakfast-Club ensemble for every period, your walls come down pretty quick, and I think your mental health benefits.’


We are impressed with Braden’s wise words and how he shared a student’s perspective of what our school offers and what makes it unique. We wish this future author the best of luck at Evergreen State College in the fall!