Photo by Elizabeth Earl/Peninsula Clarion Daisy Schwenke, who graduated from Nikiski Middle-High School in Nikiski, Alaska, on Monday, May 16, 2016, said she intends to go into the U.S. Army after graduation. She said she aims to become a military police officer.

Photo by Elizabeth Earl/Peninsula Clarion Daisy Schwenke, who graduated from Nikiski Middle-High School in Nikiski, Alaska, on Monday, May 16, 2016, said she intends to go into the U.S. Army after graduation. She said she aims to become a military police officer.

Nikiski grads head out for last time

On a partition wall, 46 pieces of cardboard bore the names of the students leaving Nikiski High School and everything from jokes to Edgar Allen Poe quotes.

Jeanalee Stock’s quote — “Spend a little more time trying to make something of yourself and a little less time trying to impress people,” a line from the Breakfast Club — underlines her intentions after leaving high school.

Stock, who said she has lived in Nikiski since she was in the third grade, graduated from Nikiski High School with 45 of her classmates Monday evening. She’s headed for Idaho State University in Pocatello, close to family in Montana and the university where she intends to study business. Her goal is to climb all the way to the top of a company one day, she said.

“I’m not sure what kind of company yet,” Stock said.

Some are staying a little closer to home. Lauren O’Brien and Ryder Payment are both headed to Kenai Peninsula College for its nursing program. They won’t be alone — several others are also headed to the local college, either to clear some credits out of the way or to get an associate’s degree.

Hallie Riddall is one of the students head to Kenai Peninsula College next year to get her associate’s degree.

“I’m not really sure what for yet, but I’m going to go and take some classes,” she said.

Others were more certain. Logan Griffel — whose quote read, “Doing what you like is freedom. Liking what you do is happiness” — plans to work for the summer and then transition into an electrician apprenticeship in the fall. He plans to stay on the peninsula, he said.

Under a bedazzled cap, Mikaila Colton watched the hallway fill with her graduating classmates. As the senior class vice president, she knows most of their names and where they’re headed. Colton herself is headed for Seward to study culinary arts at Alaska Vocational Technical Center. Ultimately, she said she wants to work on a cruise liner.

“It would be really cool to be able to work on the ship and then be able to stop off when the ship docks and explore the city that way,” Colton said.

Her classmate Lorilee Whitcomb also has plans to go into the food industry. She’s starting off at Kenai Peninsula College, then plans to transfer to the University of Alaska Anchorage. Her goal is to start up a cafe of her own on the Kenai Peninsula.

“I’ve always been interested in food, so I’d really like to own a cafe of my own one day,” Whitcomb said.

She may have some help from Hannah Love, who’s headed out of state for Blue Mountain Community College in Pendleton, Oregon to study hospitality management. Eventually, she said she hopes to come back and work with Whitcomb on her idea for the cafe.

Daisy Schwenke is headed out of state, too — to Missouri for basic training. Schwenke is entering the U.S. Army, with the hopes of becoming a military police officer.

The cap on nearly every graduate was decorated with everything from a small plastic basketball to little electric lights around the rim. Under the brim of Schwenke’s cap, a demure banner bore the name of the U.S. Army. On the top of Payment’s hat, a screencap drawn from the cartoon “Spongebob Squarepants” paid tribute to the course of his education, reading, “12 years later.”

It lined up with the placard bearing his quote on the wall nearby: “The only person you need to be better than is the person you were yesterday.”

 

Reach Elizabeth Earl at elizabeth.earl@peninsulaclarion.com.

 

Dennis Cade Anderson

Justin Rex Berry

Chloe Annalise Braun

George Frederick Brown

Christopher Jay Carr

Nathan Mitchel Carstens

Mikaila Lee Colton

Zykiah Lee Cooney

Corin James Christopher Cooper

Aubrey Ann Coreson

Evangeline Ruth Cox

Marguerite Ruth Cox

Thomas John Cox

Sarah Beth England

Christina Marie Gonion

Logan Jay Griffel

Ross Mitchell Halliday

Matthew Bryce Hollinger

Hunter Harrison Fossoy
Holloway

Tyler Allen Jagd

Luke Hayden Johnson

Bryce Macih Leighton

Hannah Marie Love

Richard William Lynch

Justin Wayne Mason

Jonathon William McCormick

Lauren Elizabeth O’Brien

Dylan Mathew
O’Reagan-Broussard

Destiny Elizabeth Sydney Owens

Javon Lerome Wiley Pamplin

Arianne Lakura Parrish

Ryder Kennedy Payment

Brittany Marie Perry

Shayne Lilly Pope

Hallie Morgen Riddall

Alexa teivi WahHong Poki’i
Leimomilani Schmidt

Daisy May Schwenke

Ruben Sepeda

Jeanelee Fusillero Stock

Alexis Makaela Isabelle Stormer

Samuel Dallas Tauriainen

Lorilee Ann Whitcomb

Haley Shay Wik

Onnahlee Llewana Wilson

Photo by Elizabeth Earl/Peninsula Clarion Lauren O'Brien snaps a photo of Logan Griffel and Hallie Riddall before the Nikiski Middle-High School graduation in Nikiski, Alaska, on Monday, May 16, 2016.

Photo by Elizabeth Earl/Peninsula Clarion Lauren O’Brien snaps a photo of Logan Griffel and Hallie Riddall before the Nikiski Middle-High School graduation in Nikiski, Alaska, on Monday, May 16, 2016.

Photo by Elizabeth Earl/Peninsula Clarion Daisy Schwenke (left) helps Hallie Riddall with her cap before the Nikiski Middle-High School graduation in Nikiski, Alaska, on Monday, May 16, 2016.

Photo by Elizabeth Earl/Peninsula Clarion Daisy Schwenke (left) helps Hallie Riddall with her cap before the Nikiski Middle-High School graduation in Nikiski, Alaska, on Monday, May 16, 2016.

More in News

The Seward welcome sign is photographed in July 2021. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Seward vice mayor and council member resigns

The council accept the resignation of Tony Baclaan during its Monday night meeting.

Ben Mohr watches Kenai River Junior Classic participants head out to fish on the Kenai River in Soldotna, Alaska, on Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2021. (Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion)
Mohr resigns as director of KRSA

He has been the executive director of KRSA for nearly three years.

Heather and Hunter Phillips walk through the Kenai Community Library Haunted Hunt with their mom Kumi Phillips on Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Scary reads

Spooky literary characters come to life at Kenai library haunted house.

Alaska state Rep. Laddie Shaw, an Anchorage Republican, waits for the start of a so-called technical session on the House floor, Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021, in Juneau, Alaska. The fourth special legislative session of the year began Oct. 4, in Juneau, but there has been little action at the Capitol and little progress toward resolving Alaska’s fiscal issues. (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer)
Special session plods on with little action

Many legislative offices have been dark and floor sessions in some cases have lasted seconds.

The Kenai Community Library health section is seen on Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2021. After the Kenai City Council postponed a vote to approve a grant funding health and wellness books, community members set up a GoFundMe to support the purchase of materials. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
After cries of censorship, community raises funds for library

The Kenai City Council voted during its Oct. 20 meeting to postpone acceptance of a $1,500 grant for materials related to health and wellness.

This illustration provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in January 2020 shows the 2019 Novel Coronavirus. (CDC)
11 new deaths reported

Statewide there were 244 COVID-related hospitalizations as of Tuesday, with 37 of them on ventilators.

Rep. Don Young talks during a June 2021 interview with the Empire. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
Young to face off with a Begich yet again

Young, 88, seemed unfazed by Begich’s entry into the race.

A remote galaxy captured by the Hubble Space Telescope is greatly magnified and distorted by the effects of gravitationally warped space. (Image via NASA)
Grant brings NASA to library

The grant supports science, technology, engineering, arts and math programming for patrons.

Most Read