Photo by Kelly Sullivan/ Peninsula Clarion Graduating senior Ben Carstens chats with friends following commencement Wednesday, May 21, 2015, in the Nikiski Middle-High School commons area in Nikiski, Alaska.

Photo by Kelly Sullivan/ Peninsula Clarion Graduating senior Ben Carstens chats with friends following commencement Wednesday, May 21, 2015, in the Nikiski Middle-High School commons area in Nikiski, Alaska.

Nikiski grads leave with ample Bulldog pride

  • By Kelly Sullivan
  • Thursday, May 21, 2015 10:40pm
  • News

The 48 2015 Nikiski Middle-High School graduating seniors are departing with their Bulldog spirit.

Before the tassels were turned and caps tossed, Senior Class President Bryce Jensen took the stage to address his classmates one final time.

“I feel like I speak for everyone when I say ‘I am proud I went to this school,’” Jensen said. “Promise yourself this is not the end of Bulldog pride.”

Jensen will be starting school at the University of Idaho in the fall to try for a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering followed by a PhD in Mechanical Engineering,. During his four years at Nikiski Middle-High School he was encouraged and allowed to carry out various engineering projects around the school, which honed His skills and interest in the field.

Surrounded by friends and family in the school’s commons area post-commencement, Jensen said he was thankful he had the chance to address the seniors.

Jensen advised his peers to “take control of your own life.” He said to approach life as if it is a “moving sidewalk.”

“If you are standing still you are moving backwards. If you are walking, you are standing still,” Jensen said. “If you are running you are moving forwards. So run. Run, run, run.”

Jensen also said he will carrying his school spirit with him even when he leaves Alaska.

“I am not going to miss it because I am not going to stop,” Jensen said.

Many of Jensen’s classmates also attributed their next steps to their education at Nikiski Middle-High School.

“What hasn’t helped me?” said graduating senior Jacob Williams. “Every teacher encourages you to excel. I had so much encouragement.”

Williams is attending the University of Alaska Fairbanks. He said the close relationship he was able to develop with his teachers is unique amongst public schools.

Katelyn Sexton said her teacher Laura Niemczyk became a mother to her. She said she was inspired by how teachers at the high school interact with their students to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education.

Teachers from Nikiski Middle-High School had the chance to say ‘goodbye’ to their students Wednesday.

Science teacher Dan Adair, took the stage that evening to offer some last words of advice to his departing students.

“Infect your world with whatever your world may be, I promise it will change your life,” Adair said. “Be afraid; but shape that into courage.”

Adair told his students to surround themselves with positive influences.

“Help others, but don’t do it for recognition,” Adair said. “We live in a culture where people help others to be noticed.”

Standing in the commons area, Max Handley said he was ready to move on but will miss his friends.

“These are people I have grown up with since preschool,” Handley said.

Handley said he thankful for the conservative education he received at Nikiski Middle-High School.

“It’s about time (to graduate),” Handley said. “It was four years of not getting paid.”

Handley will be pursuing a career in the oil field.

He is looking forward to being a part of a culture that encourages hard work with a product he said “is the backbone of America.” Nearly every known product is somehow produced with the help of petroleum, he said.

“It’s what I have grown up around,” Handley said.

Feet away from Handley, the school’s secretary Margie Warner was giving Taylor Andeway a tearful ‘goodbye’.

“Every year it’s hard to let my kids go— all 400 of them,” Warner said. “And they are all my kids, just ask them.”

 

Reach Kelly Sullivan at kelly.sullivan@peninsulaclarion.com

Photo by Kelly Sullivan/ Peninsula Clarion Senior 2015 Class President Taylor Jensen gets a hug from a friend following commencement Wednesday, May 21, 2015, in the Nikiski Middle-High School commons area in Nikiski, Alaska.

Photo by Kelly Sullivan/ Peninsula Clarion Senior 2015 Class President Taylor Jensen gets a hug from a friend following commencement Wednesday, May 21, 2015, in the Nikiski Middle-High School commons area in Nikiski, Alaska.

Photo by Kelly Sullivan/ Peninsula Clarion Graduating senior Jacob Williams spends time with friends and family following commencement Wednesday, May 21, 2015, in the Nikiski Middle-High School commons area in Nikiski, Alaska.

Photo by Kelly Sullivan/ Peninsula Clarion Graduating senior Jacob Williams spends time with friends and family following commencement Wednesday, May 21, 2015, in the Nikiski Middle-High School commons area in Nikiski, Alaska.

Photo by Kelly Sullivan/ Peninsula Clarion School secretary Margie Warner says a tearful goodbye to graduating senior Taylor Andeway following commencement Wednesday, May 21, 2015, in the Nikiski Middle-High School commons area in Nikiski, Alaska.

Photo by Kelly Sullivan/ Peninsula Clarion School secretary Margie Warner says a tearful goodbye to graduating senior Taylor Andeway following commencement Wednesday, May 21, 2015, in the Nikiski Middle-High School commons area in Nikiski, Alaska.

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