Connections Homeschool students prepare to enter the auditorium ahead of the Connections Homeschool graduation ceremony on Thursday, May 18, 2023, at Soldotna High School in Soldotna, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Connections Homeschool students prepare to enter the auditorium ahead of the Connections Homeschool graduation ceremony on Thursday, May 18, 2023, at Soldotna High School in Soldotna, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Connections students get personalized send-off at 2023 commencement

Students from around the Kenai Peninsula gathered for the event

A graduation ceremony for Connections Homeschool on Thursday, held at Soldotna High School, gathered students from around the Kenai Peninsula. Several students traveled from Homer and Seward.

Each student who attended the graduation ceremony was individually brought to the stage, where Principal Douglas Hayman and Assistant Principal Greg Melvin told the crowd about them — their goals, their achievements, the scholarships they’ve earned and the things they enjoy.

Each student was then greeted by dignitaries — school board members Beverly Romanin and Virginia Morgan, and Assistant Superintendent Kari Dendurent. Students were handed diplomas by Dendurent or their own parents and then turned their tassels.

Willow Rediske read a poem — in which she asked aloud about what comes after graduation.

“Where do we go? And what do we do? Are you a doctor, or have you a clue?” she recited. “ … Slip on that tool belt and find something that you love to do.”

Students Clare Henry and Lacie Triem each performed onstage. Henry was joined by guest singer Audra Calloway and the two sang “Lakme (Duet of Flowers),” by Léo Delibes. Triem performed both piano and vocals for the song “Don’t Forget,” by Toby Fox and Laura Shigihara, from the video game Deltarune.

After each student had claimed their diploma — and after the traditional senior slide show — the students recessed to the commons for photos and cake.

Spring 2023 graduates

Alexander Anderson

Luke Armstrong

Jordynne Audette

Liam Babitt

Tristen Barnett

Jordan Barrowcliff

Ludmila Basargin#

James Bearup

Kyle Beck

Maxwell Berninger

Mason Best

Jackson Bird^

Garrett Briscoe

Conner Brown

McKenzie Buhr^

Tori Burk

Trista Burk

Damien Burke

Cadence Campbell

Ethan Cates

Taylor Cochrane

Kenneth Coghill

Jesse Cooper

McKenzie Coray

Sage Cruz

Lukyan Dax

Julian Day

Jake Debnam

Leo DeVita

Anna DeVolld#^

Haley Dougherty

Jasmine Durfee

Connor Evoy

Kaden Farrington

Damian Fefelov

Victoria Franco

Tirzah Frederickson

Mavrick Gabriel

Laurel Gagnon

William Gashin

Edward Goans

Elijah Gordon

Johnathan Gordon

Charity Haerle

Ryder Hagedorn

Katrina Hall

Elizabeth Harju-Romey

Abraham Henderson

Clare Henry

Mariah Hernandez

Ariel Hiler

Alexis Hitchcock

Maylisa Hodges

Keegan Hupp

Ian Inglis

Amaura Jacobs

Wade James

Kenyon Jones

Blake Klinkner

Rylan Kreger

Brandon LaBreck

Tiana Lane

Isabelle Ley

Filonida Martushoff

Kyle Matson

Aaronn Monk

Colvin Moore^

Ciara Neely

Tobias Nevak

Jayden Northrup

Jerrica Northrup

Aria Olmsted

Guy Peterson

Destiny Pooley

Kenna Pryor

Kylie-Anne Raye

Willow Rediske

Justin Rose

Alexis Schneider

Lyra Sexton

Saydee Shackelford

Abrianna Smith

Danielle Smith

Harper Smith

Koa Smith

Austin Sorenson

Society Spurgeon

Rylee St. Luise^

Holden Stavish

Sydney Steadman^

Kylie Steven

Aleysa Strait#^

Myles Tackett

Daniel Trefren

Lacie Triem^

Zaraphina Tucker

Emma Updike

Caylee Uribe-Koivisto

Benjamin Veh

Mattie Von Haden

Nico Walker

Felicia Weisser

Morgan Whiteside

Jason Wood

Julian Yakunin

Mary Zaukar

KEY

National Honor Society — #

Valedictorian — ^

Connections Homeschool students prepare to enter the auditorium ahead of the Connections Homeschool graduation ceremony on Thursday, May 18, 2023, at Soldotna High School in Soldotna, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Connections Homeschool students prepare to enter the auditorium ahead of the Connections Homeschool graduation ceremony on Thursday, May 18, 2023, at Soldotna High School in Soldotna, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Connections Homeschool students prepare to enter the auditorium ahead of the Connections Homeschool graduation ceremony on Thursday, May 18, 2023, at Soldotna High School in Soldotna, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Connections Homeschool students prepare to enter the auditorium ahead of the Connections Homeschool graduation ceremony on Thursday, May 18, 2023, at Soldotna High School in Soldotna, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Connections Homeschool students prepare to enter the auditorium ahead of the Connections Homeschool graduation ceremony on Thursday, May 18, 2023, at Soldotna High School in Soldotna, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Connections Homeschool students prepare to enter the auditorium ahead of the Connections Homeschool graduation ceremony on Thursday, May 18, 2023, at Soldotna High School in Soldotna, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Connections Homeschool students prepare to enter the auditorium ahead of the Connections Homeschool graduation ceremony on Thursday, May 18, 2023, at Soldotna High School in Soldotna, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Connections Homeschool students prepare to enter the auditorium ahead of the Connections Homeschool graduation ceremony on Thursday, May 18, 2023, at Soldotna High School in Soldotna, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Connections Homeschool students prepare to enter the auditorium ahead of the Connections Homeschool graduation ceremony on Thursday, May 18, 2023, at Soldotna High School in Soldotna, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Connections Homeschool students prepare to enter the auditorium ahead of the Connections Homeschool graduation ceremony on Thursday, May 18, 2023, at Soldotna High School in Soldotna, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Connections Homeschool Principal Douglas Hayman speaks during the Connections Homeschool graduation ceremony on Thursday, May 18, 2023, at Soldotna High School in Soldotna, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Connections Homeschool Principal Douglas Hayman speaks during the Connections Homeschool graduation ceremony on Thursday, May 18, 2023, at Soldotna High School in Soldotna, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Willow Rediske recites a poem during the Connections Homeschool graduation ceremony on Thursday, May 18, 2023, at Soldotna High School in Soldotna, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Willow Rediske recites a poem during the Connections Homeschool graduation ceremony on Thursday, May 18, 2023, at Soldotna High School in Soldotna, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Connections Homeschool students take the stage to receive their diplomas during the Connections Homeschool graduation ceremony on Thursday, May 18, 2023, at Soldotna High School in Soldotna, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Connections Homeschool students take the stage to receive their diplomas during the Connections Homeschool graduation ceremony on Thursday, May 18, 2023, at Soldotna High School in Soldotna, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Connections Homeschool students take the stage to receive their diplomas during the Connections Homeschool graduation ceremony on Thursday, May 18, 2023, at Soldotna High School in Soldotna, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Connections Homeschool students take the stage to receive their diplomas during the Connections Homeschool graduation ceremony on Thursday, May 18, 2023, at Soldotna High School in Soldotna, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Connections Homeschool students take the stage to receive their diplomas during the Connections Homeschool graduation ceremony on Thursday, May 18, 2023, at Soldotna High School in Soldotna, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Connections Homeschool students take the stage to receive their diplomas during the Connections Homeschool graduation ceremony on Thursday, May 18, 2023, at Soldotna High School in Soldotna, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Connections Homeschool students take the stage to receive their diplomas during the Connections Homeschool graduation ceremony on Thursday, May 18, 2023, at Soldotna High School in Soldotna, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Connections Homeschool students take the stage to receive their diplomas during the Connections Homeschool graduation ceremony on Thursday, May 18, 2023, at Soldotna High School in Soldotna, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Connections Homeschool Principal Douglas Hayman speaks about Anna DeVolld during the Connections Homeschool graduation ceremony on Thursday, May 18, 2023, at Soldotna High School in Soldotna, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Connections Homeschool Principal Douglas Hayman speaks about Anna DeVolld during the Connections Homeschool graduation ceremony on Thursday, May 18, 2023, at Soldotna High School in Soldotna, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Connections Homeschool Principal Douglas Hayman speaks about Anna DeVolld during the Connections Homeschool graduation ceremony on Thursday, May 18, 2023, at Soldotna High School in Soldotna, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion) Connections Homeschool Principal Douglas Hayman speaks about Anna DeVolld during the Connections Homeschool graduation ceremony on Thursday, May 18, 2023, at Soldotna High School in Soldotna, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Connections Homeschool students prepare to enter the auditorium ahead of the Connections Homeschool graduation ceremony on Thursday, May 18, 2023, at Soldotna High School in Soldotna, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Connections Homeschool students prepare to enter the auditorium ahead of the Connections Homeschool graduation ceremony on Thursday, May 18, 2023, at Soldotna High School in Soldotna, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Lacie Triem perfrorms “Don’t Forget,” by Toby Fox, during the Connections Homeschool graduation ceremony on Thursday, May 18, 2023, at Soldotna High School in Soldotna, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Lacie Triem perfrorms “Don’t Forget,” by Toby Fox, during the Connections Homeschool graduation ceremony on Thursday, May 18, 2023, at Soldotna High School in Soldotna, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Graduates of Connections Homeschool exit the auditorium, diplomas in hand, after their graduation ceremony on Thursday, May 18, 2023, at Soldotna High School in Soldotna, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Graduates of Connections Homeschool exit the auditorium, diplomas in hand, after their graduation ceremony on Thursday, May 18, 2023, at Soldotna High School in Soldotna, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion
Connections Homeschool students prepare to enter the auditorium ahead of the Connections Homeschool graduation ceremony on Thursday at Soldotna High School.

Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion Connections Homeschool students prepare to enter the auditorium ahead of the Connections Homeschool graduation ceremony on Thursday at Soldotna High School.

More in News

Vice President Tyson Cox speaks during a meeting of the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly in Soldotna, Alaska, on Tuesday, June 4, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Assembly to discuss short-term rental tax on Tuesday

The resolution describes a proposed tax of up to 12%

Photo provided by Special Olympics Alaska Central Peninsula
The Special Olympics Alaska Central Peninsula team stands together for a photo during the Summer State Games in Anchorage.
Area athletes claim 45 medals at Special Olympics Alaska Summer Games

The Central Peninsula team fielded 17 local athletes in the competition

tease
Homer, Seldovia to celebrate summer solstice

Events will be held starting June 20

A freshly stocked rainbow trout swims in Johnson Lake during Salmon Celebration on Wednesday, May 10, 2023, at Johnson Lake in Kasilof, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Slow sockeye fishing at Russian River, good rainbow trout at Kenai Lake

A Northern Kenai Fishing Report published by the State Department of Fish… Continue reading

Council member James Baisden speaks in favor of an amendment to the City of Kenai’s budget that would add funds for construction of a veteran’s memorial column in the Kenai Cemetery during a meeting of the Kenai City Council in Kenai, Alaska, on Wednesday, June 5, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai budget amendment allocates funds for veterans’ columbarium in cemetery expansion

A columbarium is an aboveground structure that houses cremated remains

Council member Alex Douthit speaks in favor of an amendment to the CIty of Kenai’s budget that would reduce funds allocated to the Storefront and Streetscape Improvement Program during a meeting of the Kenai City Council in Kenai, Alaska, on Wednesday, June 5, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Funding reduced for City of Kenai’s storefront improvement grant program

Just over a year after the City of Kenai established its Storefront… Continue reading

Mount Redoubt can be seen across Cook Inlet from North Kenai Beach on Thursday, July 2, 2022. (Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion file photo)
Hilcorp only bidder in Cook Inlet oil and gas lease sale

8 million acres were available for bidding in the sale, spread across Cook Inlet and the Alaska Peninsula region

Council member Phil Daniel speaks during a meeting of the Kenai City Council in Kenai, Alaska, on Wednesday, June 5, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
City of Kenai approves budget

A draft of the document says that the city expects to bring in around $19.5 million in the next year, and spend $20.2 million

A sockeye salmon rests atop a cooler at the mouth of the Kasilof River on Monday, June 26, 2023, in Kasilof, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
A sockeye salmon rests atop a cooler at the mouth of the Kasilof River on Monday, June 26, 2023, in Kasilof, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Kasilof River personal use setnet opening delayed

Low counts for Kenai River early-run king salmon motivate restriction

Most Read