Back in the 1980s, The Columbian sent a reporter and photographer to cover every local high school commencement ceremony. As a freelance writer at the time, I picked up quite a few of these assignments. As I recall, they were pretty routine: Write a few sentences about what the speakers said, name the honorees, and include the number of graduates.That was before the advent of Skyview, Union, Heritage and a bunch of other local high schools. If we covered all of the commencements nowadays, we would have to go to 34 ceremonies.Instead, we try to acknowledge our high school seniors with a Sunday cover story and a Monday list of all of the different high school ceremonies, plus the names of the valedictorian, the salutatorian and the top 5 percent of the graduates, if applicable. That’s most of what we used to include in those commencement stories anyway.The easiest thing to do would be to find five of the biggest bookworms in Clark County and write about their college plans. And we have done that. But for at least the last 15 years, we have tried to pick a theme and then solicit nominations of interesting seniors to profile.This year’s effort began with an April 26 meeting involving our metro team reporters, our photo editor and representatives from the copy desk. What should be the theme? Last year, we told the story of students with diverse backgrounds. In 2017, fresh off the 2016 elections, our theme was student advocacy.