Soldotna Valedictorians

Posted: Friday, May 28, 2004

Tess Caswell

The daughter of Susan and Steven Caswell, Tess grew up in Soldotna, riding motorcycles with her dad, learning art from her mom and practicing music with her younger brother, Sam. She participated in track, cross-country running and cross-country skiing and went to the state competition three times as a member of SoHi's Nordic ski team. She was president of the SoHi National Honor Society, participated in Spanish Club and student government, competed in Future Problem Solving competitions and was a percussionist in SoHi's concert and jazz bands. Tess has accepted an appointment to the U.S. Air Force Academy and will head to basic cadet training July 1. She will major in astronautical engineering and the design of spacecraft, following her dream of becoming an astronaut.

Jacquelyn Cowan

 

Jacquelyn Cowan

Jacquelyn, the daughter of Timothy and Jennifer Cowan, has participated in Swing Choir for two years, Model United Nations for one year and National Honor Society for three years. She attended All-State Choir three times and was the class secretary her senior year. She was a basketball cheerleader for one year and was a part of a state champion squad. Her favorite part of high school was being a part of a volleyball team, which she was a member of for four years and was captain of during her senior year. Jacquelyn plans to go to Kenai Peninsula College in pursuit of a degree in elementary education.

Jeremy Kauffman

 

Jeremy Kauffman

The son of Jim and Lois Kauffman, Jeremy attends Soldotna Bible Chapel and has participated in the youth group's annual Mexico outreach mission trip for four years. A wrestler for all four years, Jeremy was the varsity team captain during his senior year and was a state contender until injury cut his season short. He also competed in Vocational Industry Clubs of America (VICA) for three years and won the state competition in carpentry twice. He was selected to receive an NROTC scholarship through the Marine Corps for four years of college, which he will use to attend Pennsylvania State University to major in civil engineering-construction management. He also will receive training to become an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps.

Andrea 'Annie' Penner

 

Andrea Annie Penner

Annie is the youngest daughter of Mike and Denise Penner; her sister, Sam, attends Western Washington University. Throughout high school, Annie participated in National Honor Society, basketball and soccer, where she was a team captain this year. She also was involved in student government for three years as the vice president of her class. She plans to attend the University of Alaska Anchorage this fall to major in accounting. She hopes to become a certified public accountant.

Amy Shoemaker

 

Amy Shoemaker

Amy is the daughter of David and Susan Shoemaker and older sister of Sarah Shoemaker. Amy has participated in a number of activities, including National Honor Society, Spanish Club, choir, Jazz Band, school plays and the Redoubt Project. She plays the alto saxophone and was accepted to the All-State Band twice. She has been involved in the annual SoHi drama production since her sophomore year. Her overall favorite activity this year was been the Redoubt Project, where she and a group of students went to Redoubt Elementary once a week to teach Spanish to younger children. Next year, Amy will attend the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, where she plans to study music.

Kaitlin Brett Vadla

 

Kaitlin Brett Vadla

Kaitlin, daughter of Bruce and Penny Vadla, is the student representative for the Soldotna City Council, a student government officer, president of the Spanish Club, a National Honor Society member, SoHi's Masonic Outstanding Student of the Year, first chair oboist in the Soldotna Symphonic Band, a Future Problem Solving winner, Spirit of Youth award recipient, Caring for the Kenai winner, VFW Voice of Democracy second-place winner in statewide oratorical competition, Ladies Auxiliary Patriotic Art contest winner for Alaska artwork, a dancer, a Habitat for Humanity worker.

Kaitlin also is active in 4-H. Kaitlin will attend Gonzaga University in Spokane, Wash., in the fall on a merit-based scholarship. She plans to study politics and public relations.

Sierra Williams

 

Sierra Williams

Sierra Williams is the daughter of Gary Lee Williams and Margaret Ann Parsons-Williams and older sister of Garret Dyrol Williams, 13. In high school, she participated in Academic Decathlon, Future Problem Solving, National Ocean Science Bowl, National Honor Society and Borough Honor Choir.

She also enjoyed track and field, cross-country running and skiing. She served as vice president of Spanish Club and traveled to Redoubt Elementary every week to teach a first-grade class the basics of Spanish.

She plans to study Spanish at the University of Alaska Anchorage next year and hopes to study abroad in Mexico or Spain. Someday she would like to adopt a number of children from around the world and teach them all she has learned.

Sarah Youngren

 

Sarah Youngren

Sarah is the daughter of Patty and Curt Youngren and was born and raised in the Soldotna area. She has been an involved and active student at Soldotna High School, having participated in various activities throughout her high school years, ranging from being a National Honor Society officer and Future Problem Solving team member to playing soccer and competing on the varsity swim team.

She plans to attend the University of Alaska Fairbanks in the fall, where she will major in biology/pre-veterinary studies. She then hopes to pursue her lifelong goal: to become a veterinarian.



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