Kenai teens celebrate time of their lives

Posted: Friday, May 28, 2004

Time was of the essence at Kenai Central High School's graduation May 25.

In the two-and-a-half hour ceremony at the Soldotna Sports Center, the class took time to thank their parents and other family members for supporting them, recognized the time spent by teachers and school staff in preparing them for life beyond high school, reminisced about good times shared among classmates, and perhaps wasted a bit of time performing dance moves after being handed their diplomas.

Commencement speaker Bob Summer, who taught many of the graduates in eighth grade at Kenai Middle School, shared some advice for how the graduates could conduct the abundant amount of time that stretches before them.

"Don't take time for granted," he told them.

"You have a wealth that adults envy."

Several life-changing events, including a near-fatal bout with cancer, have given Summer a different perspective than he had when he was the graduates' age. His new philosophy is that he lives on what he calls "bonus time." Every day, even the less-than-outstanding ones, is an opportunity to make the most of his life.


Chelsea Kaas and Sovala Kisena stand hand in hand, at right, with Maria Meeks while they to receive their diploma during Kenai Central High School's commencement ceremony.

Photo by M. Scott Moon

He had many tips for how seniors could spend their time wisely, including keeping adventure in their lives, not putting things off, slowing down every now and then, surrounding themselves with people who bring out the best in them and finding out who they are.

The commencement address was the high point of the ceremony for Kyle Stanton, who said Summer was one of his favorite teachers. Stanton plans to pursue education himself as a music teacher in the fall through Spokane Falls Community College in Spokane, Wash.

For John Morris, listening to his fellow graduates share their memories, hopes and in some cases attempts at rhyming, was moving.

"It was pretty emotional, (watching the seniors speak), probably because (I was) seeing my peers up there."

Immediately following the class' recessional to Green Day's "Time of Your Life," Morris summed up what he and many of his classmates likely were feeling at that point.

"Excited is about the only thing," he said. "I don't know what's going to happen next."

He plans to move to Arizona and enter an auto mechanic trade school. Beyond that he doesn't know yet, but he'll figure it out all in good time.

Kenai Central High School

Class of 2004

Tasia Lee Allen

Jose Roberto Araya

Danny Lee Autrey

Lillian Phoebe Babcock

Andrew Banas

Nicholas William Barnes

Steven Verdie Blunk

Michael Francis Boyle

Kamela Janine Brewer

Tiffany Ann Button

Stephanie Joy Carew

Amanda Renee Carroll

Cole Chappell

Nadia Marie Cherraj

Joel Kevin Christianson

Wai Ming Joanne Chui

Jacquelyn Deanne Church

Luiz Andre Silva Correa

Lisa Katharina Daum

Alexis Kelalalina DeMello

Andrew Renee Denbrock

Harrison Kofi Deveer

Kenny Lee Dormady

Ryan Ronald Dukowitz

Ryan Elliott

Michael Anthony Foglia

Geoffrey David Gemmell

Amanda Lynne Gifford

Katie Lindsey Hagelund

Shauna Rose Hall

Gregory Elliott Hampton

Travis Hancock

Brittany Lynn Hoskins

Desiree Leigh Huntsman

Phillip Ischi

Krista Deanne Jackson

Chelsea Dayle Kaas

Michael Owen Kent

Derek Killian

Seil Kim

Pat Sovala Kisena Jr.

Gavin Gene Koester-Backstrom

Anna Maria Krismer

Kristen Nicole Lazenby

Justin Robert Lee

Nickolas David Lee

Manuela Leppert

Billy Diamond Loosli

Jacob Michael Madrid

Richard Georgon Main

Mikael Elias Mantynen

Christopher McBride

Bowman Ray McDonald

Cameron Michael McGahan

Heather Amber McIntyre

Mariah Meeks

Melody Ann Miller

Danielle Milliron

Hope Whitney Mishler

Leilani Moffett

Laura Lynne Moore

Christopher Moran

Shelah Anne Moreno-Jones

John Morris

Tyler Jacob Morris

Harris Waco Murrieta

Garrett Daniel Myers

Alexis Sybil Ogle

Anthony Olick Jr.

Wesley David Olson

Kari Jean Palm

Shawna Mae Power

Henry Michael Pungowiyi

Amy Rose Rask

Michael Ray Retone

Breeanna Lee Saltzgiver

Joshua Rael Simenstad

Kristin Nicole Siter

Kyle Daniel Stanton

Bryan Stocks

Lindsey Coralie Taylor

Matthew Ray Travers

Kyle R. Trux

Kalen Michelle Tyson

Rachael Uponen

Melissa Rae Vasilie

Karla Marie Wilson

Hugh Eric Winston

U-nonda Yoopiam

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