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Turning Tassels

Dodson, Malta, Saco and Whitewater High Schools hold 2018-19 graduation ceremonies


Mark Hebert

The Malta High School Class of 2018-19 at Sunday's graduation in the school's gymnasium.

A total of 37 high school seniors turned their graduation tassels last week at Phillips County's four high schools and the following are highlights from those events.

Dodson 5.17.19

Dodson High School Class of 2019 was honored in Dodson on Friday night with valedictorian Tyrese Messerly, salutatorian Shania Kelly KillEagle, and Caleb A. Ditmar all graduating.

Ahead of the three seniors walking into the gymnasium, the Dodson kindergarten, and eighth-grade students were awarded their graduation certificates. The kindergarten (Class of 2031) students who will move on to first grade next year are Delshay Baker, Aiden Doney, Maliyah Doney, McKenzie Ereaux, KJ Fetter, Emmitt Lonebear, Katana Martinez, and Kadence Webb. The eighth-grade students moving into the high school next year, the Class of 2023, are Tanner Ball, Juliun Benson, Emma Cole, Conan Cuts the Rope, Lakayla Doney, Lindsey Fetter, Jean Jackson, Kianna Longfox, Kaleb Walker, Alex Werk, and Aliyah Wilson.

Speaker for the day's event was Dr. Carole Falcon-Chandler, Aaniiih Nakoda College President who took the stage ahead of Messerly who gave his valedictorian speech.

“If there is one true life lesson I have learned here at DHS, it would be not to hold back,” Messerly said. “You only get this opportunity once so seize it while you can, go all out. And most importantly, just be you and enjoy yourself during the whole process. I will forever have a special place in my heart for this place, and all of the positive vibes that went along with it. It’s been real, Dodson, but my time here, sadly, has come to a closing. With this being said, I would like to thank everyone for helping me reach this milestone.”

Whitewater 5.17.19

Although the 2019 Whitewater graduation ceremony featured two high school graduates and two middle school graduates, over 100 people were in attendance on Friday night.

The Whitewater High School Class of 2019 consisted of valedictorian Isabella Lawless who has attended Whitewater schools since 2008 and Petya Rozalinova of Spain. The Whitewater Middle School graduates were Kendra Cummings and Kora LaBrie (Class of 2023).

As the graduates entered the Penguin Palace, the processional was performed by the Penguin band. Following the processional and welcome, Lawless presented the Class Key to her brother Luke Lawless of the Whitewater Class of 2020.

The valedictorian award was then awarded to I. Lawless, who gave her speech which she shared of how her friendship with Rozalinova has grown over the year.

“Her free-spirited personality began to wear off on me and I became less “uptight” as she would say in her accent that would make me laugh,” Lawless said during her speech. “She reminded me that there will always be work to do, but don’t forget to live life.”

Lawless went on to say that many in attendance played an important role in her becoming who she is today.

“Especially my mom, who probably thinks these eighteen years have flown right by,” Lawless said. “You showed me what a strong woman looks like. You also taught me to keep my mouth shut, even if I had to learn the hard way. Dad, thank you for sharing your knowledge and passion for horses with me, I will carry it forever.”

Saco 5.18.19

Saco Class of 2019 valedictorian Josh Salveson and Devon Salveson both received their high school diplomas on Saturday in the school’s gymnasium.

Ahead of the graduation ceremony, Devon was awarded $4,600 in scholarships (Stiles, Iverson, Sudbrack Memorial Scholarship, Ken and Dawn White Memorial Scholarship, Jane Kober Memorial Scholarship, Joye Pewonka Memorial Scholarship, Saco Teacher’s Scholarship, Saco Music Boosters Appreciation, Phillip Sudbrack Memorial Scholarship, MSU Alumni Association Scholarship, and MSU College of Engineering General Scholarship), and Josh was awarded $1,400 in scholarship money (Saco Music Boosterxs Appreciation and Phillip Sudbrack Memorial Scholarship.)

The SHS Class of 1969 was also honoree on the day: Mike Allen, Jim Bowman, Dick Brosseau, Connie (Erickson) Wasson, Glenn Fisher, Karin (Moran) Hedglin, Connie (Knudson) Schultz, Judy (Knudson) Rock, Ed Molineaux, Marilyn Pekovitch, Sharon Ritterath, Debra Stenswick, Gayle Dale Sunford, and Kelly Taylor. The graduation speaker for the event was Dwight Freeman.

Malta 5.19.19

A total of 30 seniors attended the Malta High School graduation last Sunday. The 2019 MHS co-valedictorians were Reba Doucette and Reese Sjostrom.

Fellow MHS Class of 2019 graduates were Vance Michael Anderson, Kaden Scott Bergos, Cole Andrew Boardman, Miles Hunter Beckett Bunk, Payton Layne Clausen, Taylor Lee Eggebrecht, Taylor McKenzie Jordan Gilkerson, Kevin Milo Henry, Bethany Michelle Holm, Chloe Nicole Hunter, Keyvn Lee Isakson, Shelby Jade Jones, Andres Javier Lopez, Janessa Page Malmend, Kloie Makayla Marks, Lily Kate Maxie, Raina Constance Mortenson, Erika Lu Nagy, Michael Edwin Pugh, Courtney Rosemary Rhoads, Charlee Jael Rhodes, Kolter Leroy Schipman, Kyleigh Marie Schipman, Rhett Jon Simanton, Chayana Jane Stolem, Grayson Turner Waters, Jenna Mae Marie Waters, and Wylee Rae Young. (See Malta High School graduates who received scholarships on page 6A.)

Pierre Bibbs

The Whitewater School Class of 2018-19 Patya Chandarova and Isabella Lawless.

“We may never see many of our fellow classmates ever again, and the chance of us all being in the same room again is very unlikely,” Doucette said during her co-valedictorian speech. “These may be our last moments together, and we need to make them count. High school has helped shape us all into who we are today, and we will carry the memories we made here for the rest of our lives. I know we will all do great things in the future and I am excited to see everybody branch out in their own direction.”

Co-valedictorian Sjostrom thanked her family, friends, and MHS staff for their assistance on her way to graduation before quoting the television show “The Office.”

“I wish there was a way to know you’re in the good old days before you’ve actually left them,” she said. “I believe high school is part of the good old days along with the experiences we have in the near future, and we should cherish each day.”


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