High school graduation marks new beginnings for senior class

After 12 years of studying, paying attention, taking notes, playing sports and, in some cases, goofing off, Wrangell High School's senior class will receive their diplomas on Friday night.

The final two weeks of school for the graduates have been filled with finishing their senior projects, making sure other work is complete and taking time out for a sanctioned skip day up the Stikine River.

Nineteen students will walk to the pomp and circumstance at 7 p.m. Friday at the high school gym, make speeches and accept their diplomas, to come away as newly minted adults. Though there are technically 20 graduates in this year's class, Nick Allen graduated in December and has already entered the workforce in Sitka.

Each senior has tickets for 10 friends or family for seats on the gym floor, with overflow space in the bleachers. The ceremony can also be viewed online at https://www.youtube.com/@WPSDusStreaming.

The seniors graduating this week are Carter Hammer, Ethan Blatchley, Trinity Faulkner, Cassady Cowan, Leroy Wynne, Brodie Gardner, Nikolai Bardin-Siekawitch, Killian Booker, Steven Bales, Devlyn Campbell, Jacen Hay, Will Ashton, Kiara Harrison, Zeke Young, Kyle Hommel, Randy Churchill III, Paige Baggen, Elias Decker and Rylee Chelette.

Out of the 19 graduates, 17 took time from their already busy days to answer questions about what lies ahead for each. Here are their responses.

Carter Hammer, 19

What's your favorite thing about going to school in Wrangell?

"Making fun memories and sports."

What's your advice for next year's seniors?

"Work hard, stay on task, focus on schoolwork, don't be afraid to try new things and don't give up."

What would you most like to change about the world?

"Everyone could have a 4-wheeler and snowmachine and gas money."

Do you plan to stay in Wrangell or move away?

"Stay in Wrangell but going on a trip to Tennessee."

What are your reasons for staying or going?

"Family."

Ethan Blatchley, 18

What's your favorite thing about going to school in Wrangell?

"I like how you can have a connection with the teachers and mess around with some of them."

What's your advice for next year's seniors?

"Do your senior project earlier in the year."

What would you most like to change about the world?

"I would like to change how much input people give on stuff that doesn't involve them. Just keep having fun and stop caring so much for what others think. (Not saying to be utterly disrespectful.)"

Do you plan to stay in Wrangell or move away?

"Move away for a while, but I can see myself moving back eventually."

What are your reasons for staying or going?

"I want to see the states, and the world. I don't really feel like looking at the same islands unless there is a beautiful sunset."

If you move away, where do you plan on moving?

"I have no plan on where I will be moving to but I'm sure that one day down the road I'll find a spot."

Trinity Faulkner, 18

What's your favorite thing about going to school in Wrangell?

"Meeting people (since I was new to town)."

What's your advice for next year's seniors?

"Don't skip so much. I promise you, it'll just make your mental health worse and you'll have no motivation to continue doing work. Get ahead on assignments and just get them done. Plan ahead for your future self so your future self will be happy."

What would you most like to change about the world?

"The government in the USA."

Do you plan to stay in Wrangell or move away?

"Want to stay but taking a gap year after high school so I don't know. I have received an offer to work at a ski resort though in the fall and winter, so I may do that for my gap year."

What are your reasons for staying or going?

"Just don't have enough money to get into any schools right now, along with no financial support from family. Plus, I have nowhere to go anymore, honestly."

If you move away, where do you plan on moving?

"I have the option to move to Washington after my gap year or to New York City as well. I'm thinking I'll do one of the two."

Cassady Cowan, 17

What's your favorite thing about going to school in Wrangell?

"Seeing my friends."

What's your advice for next year's seniors?

"Don't worry if you don't know what your plans are after high school, you have your whole life to figure it out."

What would you most like to change about the world?

"Climate change."

Do you plan to stay in Wrangell or move away?

"Stay in Wrangell for a little, then travel!"

What are your reasons for staying or going?

"Staying in Wrangell for work!"

If you move away, where do you plan on moving?

"I plan on saving money and traveling the world."

Leroy Wynne, 18

What's your favorite thing about going to school in Wrangell?

"Playing basketball with my best friends."

What's your advice for next year's seniors?

"Enjoy it, and don't procrastinate, it goes by fast."

What would you most like to change about the world?

"I would lower international tensions."

Do you plan to stay in Wrangell or move away?

"Move away."

What are your reasons for staying or going?

"More opportunities for me."

If you move away, where do you plan on moving?

"Arizona or Washington."

Brodie Gardner, 18

What's your favorite thing about going to school in Wrangell?

"I know everyone in the school and don't pass strangers in the hallway."

What's your advice for next year's seniors?

"Get everything in on time! Even if you get a few wrong, it's still better than the 70% late penalty."

What would you most like to change about the world?

"I want world peace."

Do you plan to stay in Wrangell or move away?

"I plan to go to college in Washington and hopefully return to Wrangell when I am done with school."

What are your reasons for staying or going?

"Wrangell doesn't have a college, and everyone always says, 'Wrangell isn't going anywhere, go out and experience a new place.'"

If you move away, where do you plan on moving?

"Pullman, Washington, for now."

Nikolai Bardin-Siekawitch, 18

What's your favorite thing about going to school in Wrangell?

"The amount of opportunities available to the students here compared to the size and funding of our school is impressive."

What's your advice for next year's seniors?

"Do not, whatever you do, procrastinate. You have college applications, scholarships and classes, as well as adult responsibilities you will need to juggle and you cannot afford to put things off for later. You will miss out on enjoying the final days of your senior year and be stuck at home catching up on weeks of missed work."

What would you most like to change about the world?

"I would like the world to shift its focus more on educating people about mental health."

Do you plan to stay in Wrangell or move away?

"I plan to move away, but come back here for quiet time away from the city."

What are your reasons for staying or going?

"There will be more opportunities for me to find like-minded people, and to see the world that you just can't find here on our home rock."

If you move away, where do you plan on moving?

"Since I'm going to college in Boston, I plan on staying there for the foreseeable future unless my career takes me elsewhere."

Killian Booker, 18

What's your favorite thing about going to school in Wrangell?

"Leaving."

What's your advice for next year's seniors?

"If you don't have to do a class, don't pick it."

What would you most like to change about the world?

"Inflation."

Do you plan to stay in Wrangell or move away?

"Move away."

What are your reasons for staying or going?

"I want to travel."

If you move away, where do you plan on moving?

"Somewhere nice."

Steven Bales, 18

What's your favorite thing about going to school in Wrangell?

"The math class."

What's your advice for next year's seniors?

"Finish early but stay for the fun."

What would you most like to change about the world?

"I don't know."

Do you plan to stay in Wrangell or move away?

"I plan to live here and travel."

What are your reasons for staying or going?

"Just to live my life to the fullest."

If you move away, where do you plan on moving?

"Back to Alaska."

Devlyn Campbell, 17

What's your favorite thing about going to school in Wrangell?

"Dominating in Wrangell High School sports."

What's your advice for next year's seniors?

"Do everything ahead of time."

What would you most like to change about the world?

"End world hunger."

Do you plan to stay in Wrangell or move away?

"Move away and hopefully come back for a little bit in the future."

What are your reasons for staying or going?

"Going to college and entering the medical field and possibly coming back to work for SEARHC."

If you move away, where do you plan on moving?

"Spokane, Washington."

Jacen Hay, 18

What's your favorite thing about going to school in Wrangell?

"Sports."

What's your advice for next year's seniors?

"Stay determined and try your best not to fall behind even though it can be hard."

What would you most like to change about the world?

"I wish everybody could get along."

Do you plan to stay in Wrangell or move away?

"Stay in Wrangell after a few years out of town."

What are your reasons for staying or going?

"My field of work I want to go into needs people in Wrangell."

If you move away, where do you plan on moving?

"Sitka."

Will Ashton, 18

What's your favorite thing about going to school in Wrangell?

"The teachers and the quality of the classrooms."

What's your advice for next year's seniors?

"Have a plan and make yourself stand out from other students for university and scholarship opportunities."

What would you most like to change about the world?

"I'd like for there to be no more discord and more unity amongst governments."

Do you plan to stay in Wrangell or move away?

"I plan on moving away."

What are your reasons for staying or going?

"More opportunities for education, careers and friendships."

If you move away, where do you plan on moving?

"Somewhere in the Lower 48 or in a larger city in Alaska."

Kiara Harrison, 18

What's your favorite thing about going to school in Wrangell?

"The close-knit community and supportive teachers."

What's your advice for next year's seniors?

"My advice would be to enjoy one last year of high school experiences and make fun plans for the future."

What would you most like to change about the world?

"I would most like to change the world to view kindness and empathy as the standard."

Do you plan to stay in Wrangell or move away?

"I plan to move away for a time to attend college."

What are your reasons for staying or going?

"I am going in order to pursue my education and goals of becoming a physician."

If you move away, where do you plan on moving?

"I plan on moving to Utah to attend Brigham Young University."

Zeke Young, 18

What's your favorite thing about going to school in Wrangell?

"The small size and community."

What's your advice for next year's seniors?

"I would advise that you don't procrastinate."

What would you most like to change about the world?

"Hunger."

Do you plan to stay in Wrangell or move away?

"I'm planning to stay, but travel quite a bit."

What are your reasons for staying or going?

"I like the town."

Kyle Hommel, 18

What's your favorite thing about going to school in Wrangell?

"Knowing all of your classmates well."

What's your advice for next year's seniors?

"Don't skip class."

What would you most like to change about the world?

"I wish there was less drama."

Do you plan to stay in Wrangell or move away?

"Move back here eventually."

What are your reasons for staying or going?

"I like the people."

Randy Churchill III, 18

What's your favorite thing about going to school in Wrangell?

"The wrestling programs. I got started in the peewee program with Jeff Rooney at the early age of 4. I was hooked!"

What's your advice for next year's seniors?

"Be good, or be good at it!"

What would you most like to change about the world?

"The ability to relate and communicate with one another. I feel most major conflicts are caused by misunderstandings and being too easily offended."

Do you plan to stay in Wrangell or move away?

"Move away. I plan on coming back though. I want to be able to give back to the community I grew up in."

What are your reasons for staying or going?

"I'm going to further my education and improve my skills so I will have more opportunities to earn more money and follow my dreams. Mostly to follow my dreams!"

If you move away, where do you plan on moving?

"I will be attending AVTEC in Seward in the fall."

Rylee Chelette, 17

What's your favorite thing about going to school in Wrangell?

"The teachers are more student orientated."

What's your advice for next year's seniors?

"Do everything ahead of time, procrastinating isn't worth it."

What would you most like to change about the world?

"Better care for animals."

Do you plan to stay in Wrangell or move away?

"Move away."

What are your reasons for staying or going?

"College, and I want to travel before coming back."

If you move away, where do you plan on moving?

"Washington."

 

Reader Comments(0)

 
 
Rendered 06/23/2024 20:03