Skyview's Bryan Self keeps his gown hanger handy during the school's commencement ceremony last week. Erik Steffen, left, and Michael Gossman, right, also enjoy the evening.
Photo by M. Scott Moon
Just a few weeks after the Skyview High School class of 2005 entered as freshmen, terrorists hurled jetliners into the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., launching a United States-led global war on terrorism.
Comments by graduation ceremony keynote speaker Dave Carey, and thoughts in the minds of graduating seniors such as Jaime Miller recalled the events.
"The first graduating class of Skyview saw this country at war and so did this class," said Soldotna Mayor and Skyview educator Dave Carey.
Carey, who was instrumental in getting Skyview built 15 years ago, told 114 graduates, their families and friends gathered at the Soldotna Sports Center on Tuesday night it was up to them to become engaged in events occurring around them, and to "celebrate in your life's cathedral."
Carey was drawing on French lore that teaches, "A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile when one man sees it as a cathedral."
"My belief in Skyview and the cathedral it would become, began before you seniors were born," Carey said." Tonight, I request that you each leave your mark on humanity."
Miller and other seniors were touched by the war as they saw some friends enlist in the Navy last year and they learned of plans of a couple of seniors going into the Air Force following graduation.
"It worries me a little with the way things are right now," said Miller. "But I've heard a lot of good things about (military service) too."
A member of the National Honor Society and one of the 2005 salutatorians, Miller considers herself to be patriotic but said she "just disagrees with the president going to war alone and using fear as a way to motivate people."
"I definitely disagree with the country going to war," she said.
"It's awful to have a dictator, but that's not our decision," Miller said.
The dichotomy was similar to the contradictory emotions displayed by many seniors at the ceremony.
"I'm happy and sad," Miller said.
"I will miss everybody here. They've all been part of my life for the past four years."
At the same time, she said she is looking forward to going to the University of Fairbanks with her eye on studying chemistry or environmental science.
"I'm interested in just about everything, but I can't see myself in anything yet. Who knows?" she said.
The combating emotions of the graduating seniors was summed up well by senior student body Vice President Christina Shadura:
"Tonight your heart will break.
"Tonight your hearts will soar."
Class of 2005
Joe Bryant Jr.
Virginia is the daughter of Randy and Karen Berg. Virginia feels the most important things about her are not where she has been, but where she is going. She plans to attend one year at the North American Hockey Academy in Stow, Vt., to prepare of acceptance into a fitting athletic and academic college. She aspires to be a doctor.
Casilyn is the daughter of Mary and Richard Driefuerst. While attending Skyview High, she said she has strived to do her best in academics and extracurricular activities.
She plans to attend Gonzaga University in Spokane, Wash., to study engineering.
Brian, son of Brad and Linda Hibberd, has been involved in a variety of extracurricular activities and achieved academic success. He said he has learned to balance time with sports, music, school and a job at Orca Theaters. He has shown particular excellence in music through band, jazz band and ensemble groups.
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