River City Academy graduate Kiowa Richardson gives a theatrical valedictorian speech at the school's graduation ceremony at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex on Wednesday. Photo by Kaylee Osowski/Peninsula Clarion

River City Academy graduate Kiowa Richardson gives a theatrical valedictorian speech at the school's graduation ceremony at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex on Wednesday. Photo by Kaylee Osowski/Peninsula Clarion

River City graduates a ‘diverse’ group

  • By KAYLEE OSOWSKI
  • Thursday, May 22, 2014 11:21pm
  • News

In the darkened arena of the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex, six soon-to-be River City Academy high school graduates-to-be gathered.

They waited there for the 6 p.m. graduation ceremony to begin on Wednesday as their family, friends and teachers filled the chairs in the conference room.

River City Academy Principal Dawn Edwards-Smith adjusted students’ stoles and honor cords.

“This is like the third time she’s done this,” said graduate Shelby Fletcher.

Edwards-Smith asked if the graduates needed to be reminded to turn their cellphones off.

“Because that would be embarrassing,” Edwards-Smith said.

Although a phone call during the ceremony would have added final funny story to the group’s large collection they have accumulated during their years at RCA.

Forest Henry said the group had many laughs during his years at the school.

For Kiowa Richardson one of the most vivid memories from her time at RCA was when a large amount of red dye spilled in during an art project.

“It looked like a murder scene,” she said.

Richardson and twins Shelby Fletcher and Jordan Fletcher have attended the school since eighth grade, when RCA expanded to enroll middle school students as well as high school. Henry and Mac Wynkoop joined the three shortly after. Sheilyn Pogue started at RCA as a senior; RCA had never accepted a student as a senior before.

During the process of building a large story collection, the six have become close and know each other well.

Richardson described the group as diverse.

“We all have different intelligences,” she said.

She said some students are creative, like Jordan Fletcher, who wants to be a tattoo artist.

Jordan Fletcher said she’s always been interested and good at art and has worked with many different mediums.

Henry also has creative interests. He plans to attend the Culinary Academy at the Alaska Vocational Technical Center in Seward.

Wynkoop has a knack for technology.

He has been working in the information technology department for the Kenai Peninsula School District for the past year. He plans to attend Kenai Peninsula College for computer science.

“I’m more than ready for it,” he said about moving onto the next phase of his life.

Shelby Fletcher also said she feels ready for her post high school life.

Having just finished a pharmacy class through distance learning, she plans to continue working toward becoming a pharmacist.

Pogue plans to attend KPC and work toward becoming an occupational therapist.

Richardson said she’d be crazy if she wasn’t nervous about the future, but she’s excited too. She will attend the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. She wants to become a translator.

“That’s my current plan, but you know how things change,” she said.

Kaylee Osowski can be reached at kaylee.osowski@peninsulaclarion.com

River City Academy Principal Dawn Edwards-Smith adjusts graduate Shelby Fletcher's mortarboard one last time after knocking it off during a hug at the school's graduation ceremony at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex on Wednesday. Photo by Kaylee Osowski/Peninsula Clarion

River City Academy Principal Dawn Edwards-Smith adjusts graduate Shelby Fletcher’s mortarboard one last time after knocking it off during a hug at the school’s graduation ceremony at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex on Wednesday. Photo by Kaylee Osowski/Peninsula Clarion

Jordan Fletcher, River City Academy graduate laughs during a speech at the school's graduation ceremony at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex on Wednesday. Photo by Kaylee Osowski/Peninsula Clarion

Jordan Fletcher, River City Academy graduate laughs during a speech at the school’s graduation ceremony at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex on Wednesday. Photo by Kaylee Osowski/Peninsula Clarion

River City Academy graduates Kiowa Richardson (forward) and Shelby Fletcher (back) laugh as Principal Dawn Edwards-Smith talks about the class at the school's graduation ceremony on Wednesday at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex. Kaylee Osowski/Peninsula Clarion

River City Academy graduates Kiowa Richardson (forward) and Shelby Fletcher (back) laugh as Principal Dawn Edwards-Smith talks about the class at the school’s graduation ceremony on Wednesday at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex. Kaylee Osowski/Peninsula Clarion

More in News

A cruise ship is docked in Seward, Alaska, on Wednesday, May 25, 2022. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Cruise passengers encouraged to test before docking in Seward

The request comes as new COVID cases are increasing in Alaska

In this July 13, 2007, photo, workers with the Pebble Mine project test drill in the Bristol Bay region of Alaska, near the village of Iliamma. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is proposing restrictions that would hinder plans for a copper and gold mine in Alaska’s Bristol Bay region. It is the latest in a long-running dispute over efforts by developers to advance a mine in a region known for its salmon runs. (AP Photo/Al Grillo, File)
Restrictions proposed in Pebble Mine fight

Critics of the project called the move an important step in a yearslong fight to stop the mine

Armands Veksejs, Hager Elserry, Dady Thitisakulwong, and Haewon Hong attend a farewell potluck barbecue in Nikiski on Monday, May 23, 2022. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
‘A life in a year’

Foreign exchange students receive send-off in Nikiski

A man fishes in the Kenai River on July 16, 2018, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Peninsula Clarion/file)
Ninilchik River and Deep Creek to open sport fishing

Sport fishing will be open for three upcoming weekends

Sen. Peter Micciche, R-Soldotna, stands in the Peninsula Clarion offices on Wednesday, May 25, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Micciche will not seek reelection

His announcement comes a week after the end of the 32nd Alaska Legislature

The Boney Courthouse in downtown Anchorage, across the street from the larger Nesbett Courthouse, holds the Alaska Supreme Court chambers. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)
Alaska redistricting board picks new Senate map after Supreme Court finds a gerrymander

The board could continue work and possibly write a different map for the elections from 2024 onward

A landslide blocks Lowell Point Road in Seward, Alaska, on Sunday, May 8, 2022. (Photo courtesy City of Seward)
Lowell Point Road to reopen Friday

Intermittent blasting work will continue next week

Members of the Kenai City Council participate in a council meeting on Wednesday, March 16, 2022 in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Boys and girls clubs land donation postponed

The issue will be back before the body on June 1

Most Read