Skyview's David Blossom and Gregory Bosick have fun with their mortarboards during the Skyview commencement at the Soldotna Sports Center.
Photo by M. Scott Moon
If Skyview High School students were ranked by the graduation caps they wore to the ceremony Thursday night, few would place Claudia Sohns’ mortarboard anywhere but the top of the list.
The foreign exchange student from Rostock, Germany, had captured photographic memories of her one year at Skyview pictures of activities, of travels and of friends she has made and mounted the photos in mini, 2-inch by 1 1/2-inch frames with bobblehead-type wires atop black-and-white cubes affixed to her cap.
“I love it (in Alaska),” she said of her high school experience. “I hope to come back in a few years.”
Her return will need to wait, however, as she first must complete her junior and senior years of high school in her home country.
Skyview's Alex Cox pumps his fist in victory after accepting his diploma.
Photo by M. Scott Moon
Following her official graduation back home, Sohns said she would give college a try at Rostock University near the Baltic Sea.
A member of the 14-0 Panther volleyball squad, Sohns said she would like to play volleyball for Skyview again one day and added she does play the sport in Germany.
Though not a foreign exchange student, graduate Robert Small of Kalifornsky Beach would like to see distant places during the next phase of his life following graduation.
Joey LeMay and Jake Bauer have different reactions to a speaker's joke during the Skyview High School commencement ceremony.
Photo by M. Scott Moon
“I’ve joined the Navy. I leave in July,” he said.
Before receiving training as a Navy storekeeper, Small will attend boot camp at Great Lakes Naval Training Center north of Chicago and said he hopes to get a good education while in the Navy.
Small’s grandmother, Nancy Kitchen of Kasilof, said she has no fear of her grandson going into military service during wartime.
“We’re all proud of him going in the Navy,” said Kitchen, who attended the graduation ceremony at the Soldotna Sports Center along with husband, Vern, Small’s other grandmother, Carol Niedzialek, of Kenai, mother, Ginger Small, of Wasilla, sister, Carolanne Small and friend, Cydnee Sheldon.
Vern Kitchen said Robert is his first grandson to graduate from high school, but Nancy Kitchen said two others have graduated through the General Educational Development (GED) program.
Robert Small was on the Panther football team all four years at Skyview and said, academically, he enjoyed chemistry classes the most.
He liked “the way the class was set up. I always found chemistry kinda easy,” he said.
When asked if he had any advice for young people coming up behind him, Small said, “No matter what happens, stick to it and do the best you can.”
Offering similar advice was Michael Hammack of Kasilof.
“Do your best. Stay out of trouble. And stay in school,” said Hammack, who plans to “kinda wing it for awhile” following high school graduation.
Also planning to wing it is Joey LeMay of Soldotna.
“I couldn’t be more happy,” LeMay said following graduation. “It’s been four long years of high school and it finally paid off.”
He plans to stay in the Soldotna area.
“Soldotna’s my hometown. I’m gonna stay here,” he said.
Not staying around, at least for now, are the four ladies of Panther soccer: Chelsea Martin, Chantal Schefers, Nicole Van Ryzin and Melissa Fay.
Martin, Schefers and Van Ryzin are all planning to attend Eastern Oregon University.
“We’re going to Eastern Oregon ’cause we’re friends, it’s close to home and we all played soccer together,” said Martin.
Schefers will play for the Eastern Oregon team, and Fay will go away on a volleyball scholarship.
Martin, who said she was really excited, but nervous about graduation, is a member of the National Honor Society and said she is the first member of her family to go to college.
Another proud grandfather in the audience Thursday night was Elmer Pharris, sitting by himself toward the back of the sports center cheering on Carol-Ann Jeanne Wagner.
“I’ve got six (of 23 grandchildren) so far who have graduated. This is the first from Skyview,” Pharris said. “She was my baby, that one. I’m pretty proud.”
David Blossom of Kasilof, said, “It feels good ... exciting,” to graduate. He plans to attend Carroll College in Helena, Mont., studying to become a pharmacist.
Speaking through tears of joy, Angela Thomson of Soldotna, said, “I’m finally done with school. It’s a happy moment.
“I didn’t want this day to come, but it did,” Thomson said.
“My friends and the teachers,” are what Thomson said she will miss the most about high school.
Phil Hermanek can be reached at email@example.com.
Randall and Robin Eberline’s daughter Camiel, 18, plans to attend Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff for the fall semester. She plans to pursue a physical therapy degree and eventually practice therapeutic riding instruction. She hopes to work anyone with a handicap, especially children. Her activities have included volunteering, National Honor Society, student council, swimming, skiing, soccer and she in an active participant in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Jennifer Holland, daughter of Jackie and Bryan “Keith” Holland, is a hard-working and dedicated young lady. Along with striving to stay at the top of her class academically, she participated in varsity volleyball, track and soccer. She also participated in basketball and was an active member of the National Honor Society. She has been accepted to the University of Alaska Fairbanks, where she plans to major in civil engineering and contribute to the Nanook athletic program as a member of the volleyball team.
Ariel Mercier, 17, is the daughter of Jerome and Therese Mercier. In the fall she plans to attend Martin Luther College in New Ulm, Minn. Along with playing soccer, she will work toward a bachelor’s degree in education. With this degree she hopes to one day be a Christian educator.
Born and raised in Soldotna, Tashina Wortham has always felt a deep connection with her community, thus positive involvement is a natural conviction. Activities have included founder of the Interfaith Club, cheerleading, National Honor Society, student government, Soldotna City Council student member, Kenai Peninsula Orchestra, four-year All-State Band, jazz band, swing choir, church praise band and teaching Awanas and vacation Bible school. With an interest in administration, Tashina plans to study pre-law at Southern Utah University this fall. She is the daughter of Shane Wortham and Tammy and Craig Turnbull.
Skyview High School class of 2007
Rebekah Lynn Adams
Joshua James Allison
Sasha Renee Andersen
Britton Lee Anderson
Russell Daniel Bacon
Ariel C. Barker
Jake David Bauer
Jessica Leeann Berzanske
David Michael Blossom
Gregory Grant Bosick
Shawnacee Lynn Brooks
Krystal Lanie Brown
David Alexander Cox
Amanda Nicole Dallmann
Ashley Denise DeMoss
Johnnie Kathryn Dexheimer
Katie Lynn Dockery
Samantha Leanne Ducker
Chase Andrew Duncan
Ashlyn Shaye Eagle
Camiel Lynn Eberline
Hannah R. Ehlers
Brady D. Evarts
Melissa Ann Fay
Coral Lyn Frank
Kimberly Ruth Garrett
Jordan Ashlee Grant
Michael Loy Hammack
Marsea Ann Hansen
Tanner Todd Hansen
Kirsten Gayle Hinz
Jennifer Christine Holland
Joel David Isaak
Sheyeanne Jeanne Jackinsky
Christopher Lee Jackson
JaJay Alaina Kahn
Taylor Moore Karnikis
Samuel James Kilfoyle
Jason Andrew Kincaid
Adam Michael Buck Kunz
Molly Jean Lamborn
Ho’oLehua Lokomaika’i Aloha Lavea
Dale Owen Leach
Joseph P. LeMay
Bradley Alan Mallette
Aubrey Maple Marcorelle
Gavin Ross Marsh
Chelsea Lynn Martin
Harley W. Maxson
Ciarra Danielle McKenzie
Ariel Elaine Mercier
Kendra Danyele Merkes
Melissa Renee Montgomery
Brittney L. Morris
Luke C. Morse
Jeffery Scot Nelson
Patrick G. Parker
Kimberly Ann Perkovich
Samantha Lyn Peterson
Alexander Thomas Rodgers
Heather Tracy Roesing
Erick K.A. Romig
Kurt Gary Rosenquist
Craig William Russell
Chantal Brooke Schefers
Gordon Edward Shangin Jr.
Briana K. Shropshire
Rusty Lee Singleton
Kelly Taylor Skipwith
Kelsey Erin Skolnick
Robert Kenneth Small
Lisa Marie Spencer
Lucas John Thein
Angela Margaret Kilgore Thomson
Tyler Joe Timm
Jennifer Jean VanRaden
Nicole Marie Van Ryzin
Carol-Ann Jeanne Wagner
Zachary Kyle Walgenbach
Alexandra Elizabeth West
Tashina Lyn Wortham
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