Sohi graduates take the next step

Sohi graduates take the next step

After a ceremony filled with song, speeches and the cheers of friends and family, 172 Soldotna High School graduates received diplomas Tuesday night.

The ceremony at the Soldotna Sports Complex provided its share of emotional moments.

Graduate Koby Vinson gave a soulful performance of “River and Roads” by The Head and the Heart. Byron Weeks, a six-year Soldotna High science teacher who has nearly three decades of teaching experience, offered words of inspiration and a few jokes during the ceremony’s keynote speech.

Four students were named as valedictorians — Ethan Bott, Melia Miller, John-Mark Pothast and Jode Sparks. Cody Quelland earned the honor of salutatorian.

With hats decorated with flowers and glitter — some declaring their future intentions, others with words of wisdom or slogans — the 2018 graduates waited nervously to mark the end of an era. They laughed, horsed around with friends and adjusted their robes — occasionally stopping for a moment to peer out the window at the line of well wishers outside.

“I’m a little overwhelmed,” Kirsten Cornelius said. “I’m just happy that I’m graduating.”

Cornelius began attending Soldotna High in 10th grade, after relocating from California. She said she’ll miss friends, but is looking forward to the next phase of her life. “I’m nervous, excited. Ready to be out of school,” she said.

Although she’s not sure if she’ll stay in Alaska or return to California, Cornelius hopes to study cosmetology wherever she ends up. She also had a few words of advice for those still on their way to graduation.

“Make sure you do your work. And stay on track.”

Shyann Jones and Loyse Pavis stood together, fixing their gowns and talking. A foreign exchange student from France, Pavis plans to return to her home country after graduation. She called her experience in Alaska “wonderful,” and said she will miss the friends she’s made here. Pavis plans on pursuing a career in law enforcement, and hopes to become a police officer.

Jones expressed nervousness, although hers stemmed from a more practical concern. “I’m scared I’m going to fall.”

She plans on studying art, although she’s not sure where yet. “I want to be a tattoo artist.”

Selby Hill, Kiernan Escott and Kealey Hendricks built a special bond during their time at Soldotna High. The three were in the first class of ninth graders at Soldotna Prep School.

“I’m glad we got to graduate with this awesome group of people,” Escott said.

Escott plans on working over the summer before heading to college in Idaho in the fall. She’s still unsure of what she wants to study, and plans on exploring the different classes.

“I have some ideas, nothing set yet,” she said.

Hendricks plans on attending Colorado State University, where she’ll major in biology with an eye on joining the medical profession.

“It’s emotional but I’m excited, happy but sad all at once. I’m excited to see new things but I’m also sad to leave Alaska,” she said.

Hill is going on mission with her church after she graduates, but plans on heading to college after that.

“I’m excited. I’m very excited. I don’t think I’m sad yet,” Hill said. “I think I’ll be sad in a couple days, but right now I’m excited.”

Reach Erin Thompson at ethompson@peninsulaclarion.com.

Soldotna High School Class of 2018

Kellie Jean Arthur

Sarah Laraine Baktuit

Bodie Charles Bergonzini

Rylee Lou Blakemore-Tester

Shayla Marie Blischke

Emily Braham Books

Ethan Michael Bott

Ashlyn Marie Branning

Tovia E. Bremond-Hilton

Gage Andrew Burns (Hankins)

Megan Dayle Calloway

Tristan Jacob Palacay Chavez

Caroline Youn Soo Cho

Cally May Christianson

Zackary A. Clark

Dominique Victoria Conner

Kristen Alexandria Cornelius

Silvestre Marcus Crampton

Brandon Daniel Crowder

Jessica Inez Davis

Darrion Ann Derflinger

Noah Briley Deutsch

JuliAnn Sage DiLucchio

Erin Jessie Dobbs

Preston Oliver Doucet

Nicholas James Edwards

Madisen C. Elder

Elijah Hunter Elsey

Austen Lars Eriksson

Kiernan Lee Escott

Zena Marina Esmailka

Derek Joseph Evans

Meeka Ivy Nyasia Exum

Megan L. Fenton

Conner Marion Fowler

Tara Lynn Frates

Brenner Jon Furlong

Jeremiah David Garcia

Tyreke Lee Gilbert

Korie Michelle Gilmore

Gavin Reilly Goggia

Rafael Gonzalez Jr.

Grace Ryan Graham

Andrew Connor Gross

Patrick Michael Gross

William John Gross

Christian Tyler Hames

Alice Han

Brady William Hanson

Melia Sarah Harding

Kealey Nicole Hendricks

Joseph Alan Hensley

Chelsey Marie Hernandez

Selby Autumn Hill

Cory Lee Hinz

John Raymond Holland

Adara Nicole Hollon

Sonya Kay Houser

Michael Allen Hughes

Delaney Jane Johnson

Shyann Dakota Jones

Curtis Joseph Kanakis

Cameron Freeborn Ketah

Quintin Douglas Kimball

Madeline Anne Kindred

Javan George King

Anthony Lee Kitson

Colter Richard Landeis

Jeremiah Jonathan Lindemann

Elizabeth Ree Lisenby

Anthony Francis Long

Myra Jade Love

Eli Jacob Lovelace

Jake Loran Marcuson

Anna Marie Martin

Kamala Danae Martin

Mariamiya Domnina Martushev

Sarah Anne McConnell

Savannah Morganmarie McDonald

Tyler Zachary McDonald

Samuel Joseph McElroy

Mathphia Russelvich McEntire

Kelly Gayle McKamy

Sean Elijah McMullen

Brittney Clarice McNeil

Loren Michael Melovedoff

Jordan Alexander Merrill

Maguire L. Merriman

Richard Bechler Metcalf

Charles Patrick Meyer

Kamry Ella Meyer

Chase A. Miller

Melia Lokelani Miller

Cody Dalton Moore

Garret Nathaniel Moore

Tehya Marrie Naylor

Cole Ryan Nelson

Angel Daniel Nelson-Estrada

Cody William Nill

Hannah Nicole Noyes

Portia Soleil Padilla

Anna Rose Petersen

Wessley Richman Petrovich

Emily Anne Pieh

Josep Carles Pons-Vives

John-Mark Dennis Pothast

Caley Elise Presley

Cody Scott Quelland

Tanner Douglas Raney

Solomon Sage Rasch

Austin Jackson Reeves

Ian Thomas Reger

Sierra Mishell Reid

Michael Eugene Reutov

Tyler Clark Reynolds

Katie Lynne Richmond

Delaney Renee Risley

Trenton Wesley Robinson

Andrea Rodriguez

Jesse Michael Rogde

Jedd Warren Rood

Joseph (Tre) Leon Rybak

Logan Lee Schrader

Jared Dakota Sears

Eli McElroy Sheridan

Brennan Juan Antonio Slats

Logan Patrick Smith

John Clayton Smithwick

Jode Ryder Sparks

Taylor Lynn Speakman

Caleb James Spence

Vanessa A. Steiner

Ella Francesca Stenga

Braden Thomas Stigall

Mikala Marie Song Swedberg

Alaina Rose Swensen

Brooke Elizabeth Tapia

Kevin Eugene William Tautfest

Braeden Lowe Tennis

Hunter Dean Thompson

Luke Alexander Trammell

Taha Cheyeanne Trigg

Haiden Thomas Tryon

Wendell E. Tuisaula

Catherine Sierra Turner

Chance Michael Turvin

Rebekah Ruth Van Hout

Sean Aron Verg-In

Koby Wayne Vinson

Cheyenne Rose Vroman

Autumn Diane Waggoner

Hannah Grace Wells

Jillyan Kae White

Hailey Kristin Wilkinson

Cody Russell Willis

Taler Thomas Willson

Michayl Hazen Wilshusen

Benjamin Adam Wilson

Andrew Byron Winslow

Savannah D. Wolfe

Whitney Paige Wortham

Denali Nicole Wurst

Connor Keidel Yarnes

Shaylynn Irey Zener

Sohi graduates take the next step
Sohi graduates take the next step
Sohi graduates take the next step
Sohi graduates take the next step
Sohi graduates take the next step
Sohi graduates take the next step
Sohi graduates take the next step
Sohi graduates take the next step
A graduate listens to a musical performance during the Soldotna High School commencement at the Soldotna Sports Complex on Tuesday. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)

A graduate listens to a musical performance during the Soldotna High School commencement at the Soldotna Sports Complex on Tuesday. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)

Sohi graduates take the next step

A graduate listens to a musical performance during the Soldotna High School commencement at the Soldotna Sports Complex on Tuesday. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)

Sohi graduates take the next step

A graduate listens to a musical performance during the Soldotna High School commencement at the Soldotna Sports Complex on Tuesday. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)

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