Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966

 
 

By CVN Staff 

Former teacher calls graduating class 'kind and caring'

 

May 20, 2010



Haines High School graduated 19 seniors Tuesday at Karl Ward Gym in a ceremony punctuated by tears, hugs and basketball metaphors.

"Like in a basketball game, your life will have its ups and downs and you have to keep playing through them to become successful," said valedictorian Kyle Fossman, who led two basketball teams to state championships.

"If you keep your head up and keep trying, you will always know you gave yourself the best shot possible," Fossman said.

Fossman encouraged classmates to have persistence and determination, qualities he said were exemplified by former teammates Ryan Olsen and Chandler Kemp. "If you put in the hard work, there are no limits on what you can do."

Superintendent Michael Byer called graduates a class of champions.

"You’re at center court surrounded by adoring fans, and you don’t even have to hit a three-point shot. You just have to sit there and smile."

Byers encouraged them to leave a legacy. "Live life to the fullest, but don’t waste it. Even though you’ve come so far, you still have far to go and much to do."

Former Haines teacher Jeanette Menaker gave the commencement address, telling students they’d had hundreds of teachers and that they were "candidates for adulthood."

"Full adulthood takes a while, but we’re ready to accept you as full, participating members of this town, state and country," she said.

Quoting a widely-circulated e-mail titled "The Rules of Life," Menaker told students life isn’t fair, flipping burgers isn’t beneath their dignity, and they should learn from their mistakes. "Be nice to nerds. Chances are you’ll end up working for one," she said.

Menaker read "Desiderata," a prose poem expressing ideals and advice and finished by urging graduates to aim high. "Do what’s best for you, and always expect the most from yourself," Menaker said. "I’m intensely proud of you. Go forth and conquer."

Salutatorian Carlee Heinmiller expressed apprehension and sadness. "I am sad to be leaving this beautiful place and the people that live here… I’m just as confused and scared as all of you are as to what lies ahead."

She encouraged classmates to smile and laugh, but also to grasp each moment. "Please don’t take anyone or anything for granted, because you never know when one of us might be gone forever."

Seniors chose "Lean on Me" as their program’s only song and student speakers cited mutual support that had held the class together. Menaker said students helped her at a time of personal trials. "You showed you were kind and caring people who could share your feelings."

Scholarships were awarded to seniors at an honors ceremony Monday. Graduates and former graduates receiving awards included:

Fran Daly—American Legion Scholarship ($500), Elks Teenager of the Year ($500), ANS Camp 5 Scholarship ($250), Mildred Hermann Scholarship (Haines Womens’ Club) ($500), Delta Western Scholarship ($10,000)

Tiffany Dewitt— American Legion Scholarship ($500), ANS Camp 5 Scholarship ($250)

Chris Downer— American Legion Scholarship ($500)

Jo Sharon Feldman—Tamara Hyatt Hanson Fine Arts Scholarship ($500)

Kyle Fossman—UAA Athletic Scholarship ($39,000), Haines Volunteer Fire Dept. Scholarship ($500), Willard B. Sele Academic Scholarship (Elks) ($2,000), Elks Teenager of the Year ($500), Haines Emblem Club Scholarship ($1,000), UA Scholars ($11,000)

Christine Hansen— Haines Volunteer Fire Dept. Scholarship ($500), Tom Ward Sr. Scholarship (Elks) ($1,000)

Carlee Heinmiller—University of Oregon Deans Scholarship ($5,000 per term), American Legion Scholarship ($500), Bud Sandstrom Vocational Scholarship (Elks) ($1,000), ANS Camp 5 Scholarship ($250), Tamara Hyatt Hanson Fine Arts Scholarship ($500), UA Scholars ($11,000)

Hannah Hostetler—Seattle University Scholarship ($36,000), Univ. of Wyoming Scholarship ($12,000), Chilkat Valley News Scholarship ($500)

Elizabeth Jurgeleit—Gillam Foundation Scholarship ($5,000), Haines Volunteer Fire Dept. Scholarship ($500), Juneau Lions Club ($500)

Iris Kemp—Haines Womens’ Club Scholarship ($750), Pioneers of Alaska ($500)

Crystalyn Lemieux— Haines Volunteer Fire Dept. Scholarship ($500), American Legion Scholarship ($500), Haines Emblem Club Scholarship ($1,000), ANS Camp 5 Scholarship ($250), Haines Womens’ Club Scholarship ($500)

Brianna Phillips—Haines School Staff/HEA Scholarship ($685)

Jordan Piper—Lynden Memorial Scholarship ($1,000), Humboldt State University Western Undergraduate Exchange Scholarship ($6,820), Haines Volunteer Fire Dept. Scholarship ($500), Haines Emblem Club Scholarship ($1,000), Susan Barnes Memorial Scholarship (HARK) ($500), Tamara Hyatt Hanson Fine Arts Scholarship ($500), Haines Sportsmen’s Association Scholarship ($500)

Kyle Rush—Mesa Community College Western Undergraduate Exchange Scholarship ($4,932), ANS Camp 5 Scholarship ($250), Sealaska Heritage Institute Scholarship ($800), Haines School Staff/HEA Scholarship ($685)

Genny Szymanski— Haines Emblem Club Scholarship ($1,000)

Teslyn Visscher— Haines Volunteer Fire Dept. Scholarship ($500), Haines Womens’ Club Scholarship ($500)

Savanna Wilson— ANS Camp 5 Scholarship ($250)