Photo by Kelly Sullivan/ Peninsula Clarion Elizabeth McGlothen chose to give her mother a yellow rose recognizing she helped her get through her high school years, Tuesday, May 22, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex.

Photo by Kelly Sullivan/ Peninsula Clarion Elizabeth McGlothen chose to give her mother a yellow rose recognizing she helped her get through her high school years, Tuesday, May 22, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex.

Skyview grads face being last to graduate from closing school

  • By Kelly Sullivan
  • Thursday, May 22, 2014 11:20pm
  • News

At Skyview High School’s final graduation ceremony, every student crossing the stage was cheered for. But students say that is just how Skyview operates.

Kierstyn Mathews said she entered Skyview as one of the shiest students, and came out with confidence.

Anyone should have the opportunity to graduate from Skyview, Mathews said. While getting to graduation was easy, for her the next step is still up in the air.

“I am extremely scared,” Mathews said following the ceremony. “I have no idea what I am going to do.”

Nerves weren’t uncommon that evening.

“I am happy, I am sad, I am terrified,” Matthew Ryan McDowell said. However, his future is slightly more defined.

Throughout the last two years, McDowell has been completing college level prerequisites at Kenai Peninsula College. Next fall he is slated to enter the nationally recognized Emergency Medical Services program, at KPC.

McDowell said until he attended Skyview, he didn’t think he would enjoy his high school years.

“High School didn’t go as planned,” McDowell said. He left with great friends he will sorely miss.

Sarah Jayne Pearson explained this was because of Skyview’s unflinching social acceptance. People could be whomever they wanted, and no one had a problem with it, she said.

“I’m in tears about it,” Pearson said. “It’s the best school.”

Walter Baxter said being the last graduating class didn’t necessarily feel good. Not even being able to revisit the hallways in the future make it more difficult.

Baxter will be attending the University Alaska Fairbanks computer science in the fall with his friend, Tiffany Allen, who will be studying mechanical engineering.

Allen said her time at Skyview taught her to look at situations with new eyes. Baxter and Allen recall teachers and brothers Rob Sparks and Randy Sparks, whose approach in the classroom wasn’t cramming facts, but teaching how to think and learn for oneself.

For Carlos Casares graduating from Skyview meant the last 12 years of his life had paid off.

Casares said he had the opportuniy to become who the person he wanted to be. Next fall he will be attending KPC to study process technology or fisheries technology with friend Lars Russell, who will be going for creative writing.

Russell was joined in the hallways of Skyview with an entire generation of his family. He will remember the back and forth he had with teachers- people who had become more like family than instructors.

However, after running on five hours of sleep for the last three years, Russell said he is looking forward to some time to relax.


Kelly Sullivan can be reached at


More in News

Girl Scout Troop 210, which includes Caitlyn Eskelin, Emma Hindman, Kadie Newkirk and Lyberty Stockman, present their “Bucket Trees” to a panel of judges in the 34th Annual Caring for the Kenai Competition at Kenai Central High School in Kenai, Alaska, on Thursday, April 18, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Bucket trees take top award at 34th Caring for the Kenai

A solution to help campers safely and successfully extinguish their fires won… Continue reading

Children work together to land a rainbow trout at the Kenai Peninsula Sport, Rec & Trade Show on Saturday, May 6, 2023, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Sport show returns next weekend

The 37th Annual Kenai Peninsula Sport, Rec & Trade Show will be… Continue reading

Alaska Press Club awards won by Ashlyn O’Hara, Jeff Helminiak and Jake Dye are splayed on a desk in the Peninsula Clarion’s newsroom in Kenai, Alaska, on Monday, April 22, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Clarion writers win 9 awards at Alaska Press Club conference

The Clarion swept the club’s best arts and culture criticism category for the 2nd year in a row

Exit Glacier, as seen in August 2015 from the Harding Icefield Trail in Kenai Fjords National Park just outside of Seward, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
6 rescued after being stranded in Harding Ice Field

A group of six adult skiers were rescued after spending a full… Continue reading

City of Kenai Mayor Brian Gabriel and City Manager Terry Eubank present “State of the City” at the Kenai Chamber of Commerce and Visitor’s Center in Kenai, Alaska, on Wednesday, April 17, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Mayor, city manager share vision at Kenai’s ‘State of the City’

At the Sixth Annual State of the City, delivered by City of… Continue reading

LaDawn Druce asks Sen. Jesse Bjorkman a question during a town hall event on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2023, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
District unions call for ‘walk-in’ school funding protest

The unions have issued invitations to city councils, the borough assembly, the Board of Education and others

House District 6 race gets 3rd candidate

Alana Greear filed a letter of intent to run on April 5

Kenai City Hall is seen on Feb. 20, 2020, in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai water treatment plant project moves forward

The city will contract with Anchorage-based HDL Engineering Consultants for design and engineering of a new water treatment plant pumphouse

Students of Soldotna High School stage a walkout in protest of the veto of Senate Bill 140 in front of their school in Soldotna, Alaska, on Wednesday, April 17, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
SoHi students walk out for school funding

The protest was in response to the veto of an education bill that would have increased school funding

Most Read