The graduates of Kenai Alternative High School’s class of 2017 were celebrated at Monday night’s commencement in the Kenai Alternative High School gym surrounded by family, friends and faculty.
The students in the small but dedicated group are each looking forward to what opportunities their post-graduation lives may hold. The group of 27 graduating seniors were brought together at Kenai Alternative after facing past struggles in their education. After signing up for the alternative school, the students were able to find motivation, focus on their education and, with the help of a supportive staff, graduate.
“The community at Kenai Alt is very nice,” graduate Abe Grisham said. “There is really a sense of togetherness here.”
The graduates are all looking forward to their post high school adventures, many already have their next steps lined up.
“I am going to college at (Kenai Peninsula College) for early childhood development,” graduate Stormy Shields said. “I’m so excited to start my own life and living on my own, to start my career.”
Shields graduated at the top of her class and a year early, which she said she owes to years of great home schooling and her time at Kenai Alternative.
“A lot of the people here are really nice and no one has problems with each other. All the teachers are especially nice,” Shields said.
Several graduates also have plans to enter the workforce.
“I think that Kenai Alt is an amazing place to go to school and I’m excited because I’m shipping off to trade school in two weeks,” graduate Kymberlee Thurmond said. “I’m going to Job Corps for accounting because I’m good with numbers and $25 an hour doesn’t seem so bad.”
Other students said they plan to go to AVTEC in Seward for a variety of programs.
Graduates include Stormy Shields, Kanyon Bagley, Greyson Bilderback, Stephen Brown, Linda Byrd, George Carpenter, Anastasia Christoffersen, Roman Everett, Cora Flake, Jared Gerry, Abraham Grisham, Wesley Holt, Jonathan Hudson, Jesse James, Nadine James, Xena Kaczmarek, Kelsea Leite, Hannah McWilliams, Bryce Moeglein, Seth Nacca, Noah Ness, Cedrick O’Rourke, David Prather, Nadia Showalter, Xandria Simms, Roy Taylor and Kymberlee Thurmond.