Ninilchik School

Posted: Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Editor’s note: Ninilchik School did not provide a class list or valedictorian biography by the Clarion’s deadline.

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  Mikhail Skrypchyk and Courtney Schnabl enjoy a few moments of levity just before the Ninilchik graduation ceremony began. Photo by Hal Spence


Jennifer Bartowlowits gets some help adjusting her sash from Lauren Wolford.

“I’m taking a step into the real world and getting past one chapter in my life and into another,” said Lauren Wolford, salutatorian and UAA Scholar Award winner. “I’m especially going to miss basketball. It was really fun playing here.”

“My mom has made my school lunch for me every day for the last 13 years. Multiply 180 school days by 13 years; now that’s what I call love.” Wolford said in her salutatorian address.

“I’m not afraid to admit that there are times when I am terrified for the future. I guess I have to figure out what I want to do with my life, or what truly makes me happy. But then I pause and I realize that even if I’m unsure about where my life is taking me, true happiness is something I can find right here.”



John Chihuly gets a handshake from Ninilchik High School Principal Terry Martin as he accepts a scholarship Thursday night.

Photo by Hal Spence

“I want to take a few classes, but right now I’m just so burnt out. I just want to get it done and over with,” said Samantha Evans, a student at Ninilchik since the first grade.


“It’s the first day of the rest of my life. It’s a big transition. Tomorrow, I’m moving to Seldovia ... and, like, I already have two jobs lined out,” said Angela Singh, a student at Ninilchik since kindergarten, who is going to Southwestern Oregon Community College.

“Working, getting in shape again, and all that wonderful stuff,” Singh said of her plans for the summer.



Valedictorian Brendan Cuffe embraces his dad, Michael Cuffe.

Photo by Hal Spence

“Now I can live on my own!” said Courtney Schnabl, who is heading to UAA and a career in nursing.


“Twenty-two minutes and I’ll be out of here!” said Mikhail Skrypchyk, as he headed to the gymnasium for graduation.

“I’m going to get some experience living by myself. Then I’m joining the military (Navy), serve four years and go get a college education. Then? I don’t know,” Skrypchyk said of his future.



Mikhail Skrypchyk and Courtney Schnabl enjoy a few moments of levity just before the Ninilchik graduation ceremony began.

Photo by Hal Spence

“It’s taken a long time, 15 years!” said Alicia Oskolkoff, who says she’s going right to work and is considering vocational school.


“It is here that we leave our final mark on the school, while at the same time, prepare ourselves to make our first marks on the world,” said Brendan Cuffe, in his valedictorian address

“I’m really, really looking forward to going to college. ... I’m ready to move on to another state, live in a bigger city, a bigger environment,” Cuffe said.


“I look at all of you, and I see me. ... I have to wonder, is this your graduation, or mine?” said Penny Valda, an English teacher retiring after 28 years at Ninilchik, 32 as a teacher.

“Go out and make a difference. I hope I did, and have, and will. And I know you will ... you are an awesome group of young people.” Valda said.


“Tonight? I think our class is just hanging out; having fun, I think,” said Kendra Moerlein, Region 2A Girls Basketball 2006 Player of the Year, who is headed to Western Washington University.

“It’s really exciting, yet really sad at the same time. I’ve grown up with all these people, and it’s really sad to have to leave them. But it is exciting to go on to something new and pursue my dreams.” Moerlein said of what it means to be graduating.

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