Photo by Elizabeth Earl/Peninsula Clarion The Soldotna High School band warms up before the school's graduation ceremony at the Soldotna Sports Complex on Wednesday, May 18, 2016.

Photo by Elizabeth Earl/Peninsula Clarion The Soldotna High School band warms up before the school's graduation ceremony at the Soldotna Sports Complex on Wednesday, May 18, 2016.

SoHi graduates gather for a few last laughs

After three and a half years at Kenai Central High School and then one semester at Soldotna High School, Chase Feagin is glad he transferred.

Wearing the SoHi tassel just before the graduation ceremony, Feagin said he liked the atmosphere at the Soldotna high school, where everyone can be what they want to be. After graduation, he’s planning to pursue social work, first at Kenai Peninsula College and then at Northern Arizona University. Eventually, though, he knows he wants to come back to Alaska, where his family is.

“You need people who work in that profession to care,” Feagin said. “There are so many people who just don’t care.”

Feagin is one of 168 graduates from Soldotna High School who will take off on their divergent paths after the ceremony at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex on Wednesday evening. In the prep room, the graduates gathered before the ceremony to change into gowns, adjust caps, slip on high heels and share a few laughs.

Stephanie Dolan was ready to get graduation over with and move on to get a job, she said. Her boyfriend, Cory Heitzman, has plans to go into either the military or security. He said he has two brothers in the military and would probably go into the Marines if he chooses to enlist, he said.

“I’m hoping he does security,” Dolan said.

Heitzman and his friend Michael Petrovich lounged by the windows in full graduation regalia, before the ceremony. Petrovich said has has a few broad ideas for after school, teacher and engineer among them. Petrovich transferred to SoHi after Skyview High School became Skyview Middle School in 2014.

“It wasn’t easy,” Petrovich said of the adjustment.

Laural Schadle transferred from Skyview, too. After high school, she said she intends to attend Kenai Peninsula College. She waited in the crowd of graduates with her gown unzipped, showing a handmade dress with intricate beading decorating it. She and her grandmother spent the last two and a half months working on the dress, which Schadle said is a family tradition for major life events.

“This was my first one,” Schadle said.

Hannah Katzenberger is planning to attend Kenai Peninsula College, too, shooting for a degree in nursing. She already has her certification as a Personal Care Assistant, she said.

“I like doing (the personal care assisting),” Katzenberger said. “Nursing is kind of the next step.”

Brianna Bennett also has a clear trajectory — she’s secured a soccer scholarship at York College, a Christian college in Nebraska, with the goal of studying criminal justice.

“I’d like to do criminal prosecution,” Bennett said.

Among the graduates in black walked a Vincent Van Gogh painting. The iconic swirls of “Starry Night” were framed by white roses, pinned carefully to the top of Daisy Nelson’s cap. She painted the reproduction herself, one of many artistic projects throughout her high school years.

“I took, like, five art classes this year,” Nelson said. “I was spending basically all day in the studio.”

After graduation, she intends to pursue art at Brigham Young University in Idaho and shoot for a career in advertising or marketing.

“It seems like those are the good fields to use art these days,” Nelson said. “After all, it’s better than being a starving artist, right?”

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

Christine Marie Nora Alexie

Abigail Jeanette Anderson

Ayla Phylicia Antebi

Tyler Michael Armstrong

Christian Lane Arroyo

Andrei Aleksandrovich Artamonov

Ann Elizabeth Baldwin

William Cole Bartelds

Josef Jeremiah Becher

Jennilee Tesla Beilen

Brianna Dawn Bennett

Dalton Beau Best

Cameron Michael Bever

Emily Patrick Boone

Jesse James Boze

Kendra L Brush

Amy Danyelle Bunch

Ashley Louise Burcham

Lavender Alene Burns

Abbie Lynne Carter

Griffin Benjamin Casey

Annamarieka Rose Chythlook

Anna Grace Coup

Tyler Gabriel Covey

Cole Golden Ray Crandall

Delaney Kathrine Crosby-Schneider

Austin Richard Crowder

Chance Nathaniel Dare

Caleb Dalton Davison

Gerardo Gonzalez Delgado

Lillian Grace Denison

Bailey Quinn Deutsch

Stephanie Edith Dolan

Keegan James Dubendorf

Ashton Cole Ducker

James Willard Elsey

Macylea Sabrina Elsey

Olivia Ashlind Farrell

Chase Riley Feagin

Julia Lynn Fields-Jones

Taylor May Fields-Jones

Keola Taniela Finau

Thomas Moore Flores

Hannah Joy Fraley

Daniel Mckelvey Garber

Caitlan Rain Gibbons

John Boyd Gibbs

Korban Coy Gibbs

Taylor Ash Gilmore

Drew Terrance Golden

Eric Rocael Gomez-Catalan

Tessa R Gottlob

Derek Ray Griffin

Kenneth Hamilton Griffin

Chloe Julianne Haas

Kayla Ann Haeg

Amber Crystal Hall

Sabrina LeighHames

Andrew Basil Hammond

Jessica Lauren Hanna

Shayla Marie Hardcastle

Kyle Leann Hastings

Cory Ray Heitzman

Isabella Marie Henry

Sage Larson Hill

Calvin Scott Hills

Olivia Marcelle Hutchings

Jonathan Joel Johnson

Stockton DeRay Jones

Drew Allen Kant

Hannah Bryn Katzenberger

Rebekah Ann Keener

Elizabeth Britiany Keyes

Hunter Noah Kingrey

Phillip Allen Kitchen

Kayli Sage Kitchens

Savannah Marie Kreider

Joannie Marie Kuczmarski

Dylan James Kuntz

Hallie Annette Landess

Connor John Larson

Gracelyn Mara Larson

Mary Elizabeth Lewis

Michael Robert Lewis

Brady Lee Lindley

Alexander James Lisenby

Tiffany Michelle Long

Malena Mercedes MacMaster

Hanna Brianne Mahaffey

Antonio Argiris Maheras

Kaytlynn Rose Malone

Jordan Lynn Martin

Zakarie Dru Marwedel

Erick Alberto Mayoral Murillo

Amber Renee McDonald

Claire Isabel McElroy

Margaret Kennedy McGlothen

Morgan Ann McKay

Jesse Lawrence Meier

Larissa Dawn Melovedoff

Corean Meyer

Levi Daniel Michael

Daisy Alex Nelson

Rachel Marie Nill

Gage Lee Norman

Shaylynn Talia Norris

Hannah Grace O’Dell

Kristian Michael Palaniuk

Michael William Petrovich

Kylee Lynn Pollard

Hannah Bethany Pothast

Mason Slade Prior

Kyliera Katryn Quincy

Sarah Elizabeth Raya

Jaden Deanne Reid

Kylee A Renken

Sierra Okpik Reynolds

Thomas Jefferson Rhodes

Luis Miguel Rodriguez

Makenna Pearl Rosin

Sophia Lynne Rossini

Laural Jade Schadle

Reagan Alexa Schoessler

Denali Cheyenne Schultz

Ryan Paul Scroggins

Michael Dalton Sedy

Rachel Lynn Shassetz

Megan Rose Silta

Dylan James Simons

Brett Robert Smith

Kaden Cole Smith

Timothy J Smithwick

Jeffrey David Solie

Trevor Willis Speakman

Sloan Marina Stenga

Krysta Raelene Streiff

Braden Robert Swanson

Aaron Paul Swedberg

Neakita Anna Swensen

James Loyd Taylor

Sierra Lynn Thomas

Kylar Dane Thurmond

Rachael Nicole Todd

Sylvia Filemu Tuisaula

Chad Blaze Turpen

Robert Andrew Urenda

Meghan Renae Ussing

Emmanuel Van Hout

Haylee Star Vroman

Sarah Beth Wade

Trevor Brian Walden

Briar James Waldrip

Sailor M Walker

Halen Clark Wells

Emily Glenn Werner

Kolten Joseph Wilson

Alyssa Danielle Wolfe

Lindsey Malia Wong

Myia Alise Wright

Anna Marie Wrobel

Nathaniel Michael Yannikos

Kearstin E Yarnes

Russell Thomas Yurcina

Jayden Kiley Rhea Zimmer

Photo by Elizabeth Earl/Peninsula Clarion Soldotna High School graduates prepared to walk across the stage for their graduation ceremony at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex on Wednesady, May 18, 2016.

Photo by Elizabeth Earl/Peninsula Clarion Soldotna High School graduates prepared to walk across the stage for their graduation ceremony at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex on Wednesady, May 18, 2016.

Photo by Elizabeth Earl/Peninsula Clarion Sailor Walker had the only 3D graduation cap in the room before the Soldotna High School graduation at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex on Wednesday, May 18, 2016.

Photo by Elizabeth Earl/Peninsula Clarion Sailor Walker had the only 3D graduation cap in the room before the Soldotna High School graduation at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex on Wednesday, May 18, 2016.

Photo by Elizabeth Earl/Peninsula Clarion Daisy Nelson hand-painted her cap for her graduation fro Soldotna High School at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex on Wednesday, May 18, 2016. Nelson said she has been painting since she was 5 years old and intends to use her art for a career in marketing or advertising.

Photo by Elizabeth Earl/Peninsula Clarion Daisy Nelson hand-painted her cap for her graduation fro Soldotna High School at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex on Wednesday, May 18, 2016. Nelson said she has been painting since she was 5 years old and intends to use her art for a career in marketing or advertising.

Photo by Elizabeth Earl/Peninsula Clarion Laural Schadle, a graduate from Soldotna High School, spent two and a half months hand-beading her dress with the help of her grandmother specifically for the graduation ceremony at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex on Wednesday, May 18, 2016. Schadle said it is a family tradition to make a new dress for significant life events.

Photo by Elizabeth Earl/Peninsula Clarion Laural Schadle, a graduate from Soldotna High School, spent two and a half months hand-beading her dress with the help of her grandmother specifically for the graduation ceremony at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex on Wednesday, May 18, 2016. Schadle said it is a family tradition to make a new dress for significant life events.

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