Friday, May 29, 2020

Ninety-four students march into future as Class of 2019 Taft grads

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Our journey of obtaining knowledge is not over, for our lives have now been opened to great opportunities for years to come.”

Taft High Class of 2019 valedictorian Mad Scott 

Hedo Zacarias

A sea of 94 students clad in black caps and gowns and orange-and-white stoles representing the Taft High 7-12 Class of 2019 marched triumphantly into the future Saturday at the school’s annual commencement ceremony.

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Cheers were shared and tears were shed as Taft Principal Nick Lupo, teacher and coach Jake Tolan and valedictorian Mad Scott addressed the graduates in the 2:19 p.m. ceremony to represent the year 2019.

Taft High seniors received the equivalent of more than $1 million in scholarships from colleges, the ‘Gear Up’ program, and local and foundation-based offerings.

At least eight students plan to enlist in the military, including salutatorian David Jin, who will attend the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. Jin and fellow senior class President Maleah Smith also addressed those assembled in the crowded Taft gym.

Honored Taft High Seniors

Mikayla Allen

*Gear Up

Indian Ed Cord

Ivy Anderson

*Gear Up

CNA Program Recognition

4 yr music participation cord

Sam Anderson

*Gear Up

Eriq Aquino

*Gear Up

US Marine Corp Enlistment

Olivia Baker

*Gear Up

*Kiwanis

*Rotary

*Dave Bice Memorial

*Linfield College

*Oregon Promise

Autumn Barela

*Gear Up

Shaa Bayya

*Gear Up

*Siletz Studio

*Oregon Promise

Indian Ed Cord

Outstanding Math Achievement

Superintendent’s Award

CTE Cord

Honors Diploma

Steven Bellemore

*Gear Up

Principal’s Award

Jayden Ben

*Gear Up

*Oregon Promise

Indian Ed Cord

Katia Betanzo-Ortiz

*Gear Up

*Oregon Promise

AVID Recognition

Earl Brockett

*Gear Up

*Charles Elroy, Jr Memorial

*Oregon Promise

William Brooks

*Gear Up

US Army Nat’l Guard Enlistment

AVID Recognition

Most Improved Math Student

Kayla Brown

*Gear Up

Outstanding Choreography in Drama

4 year music participation cord

Jared Bryan

*Gear Up

Christopher Byrum

*Gear Up

Principal’s Award

Mars Callihan

*Gear Up

*Oregon Promise

Haley Callin

*Gear Up

*AAUW

*North Lincoln Eagles

*Sodexo Food Service

*Siletz Studio

*Oregon Promise

Emeli Canales-Martinez

*Gear Up

Victor Carrasco

*Gear Up

*Oregon Promise

US Army Nat’l Guard Enlistment

AVID Recognition

Outstanding Math Achievement

Kailee Christensen

*Gear Up

*Oregon Promise

Heidi Cruz

*Gear up

Ray Darrington

4 year music participation cord

Melody Diggs

*Gear Up

*Siletz Studio

*Oregon Promise

Perseverance in Math

CTE Cord

Darian Drennan

*Gear Up

*AAUW

*Gleneden Beach Community Club

*Kiwanis

*Gene Bateman Memorial

*North Lincoln Eagles

*Rotary

*Samaritan North Lincoln Hospital Auxiliary

*Marcy Taylor Memorial

*OSEA

*Oregon Promise

Heather Farris

*Gear Up

Tyee Fisher

*Gear Up

Indian Ed Cord

Senior Class Representative

Genaro Flores

US Air Force Enlistment

Tania Fuentes

*Gear Up

*Oregon Promise

AVID Recognition

Oswaldo Garcia

*Gear Up

*Sodexo Janitorial

*Oregon Promise

AVID Recognition

Outstanding Math Student

Perla Garcia Madrigal

*Gear Up

Karla Gonzalez Moreno

*Gear Up

Cicily Harrington

*Gear Up

Erika Haun

*Gear Up

Commitment to Drama

Joram Hoff

*Gear Up

*Oregon Promise

Social Studies Academic Excellence

Outstanding Math Achievement

Alyssa Horobin

*Gear Up

*College Cash

Charlotte Huppert

*Gear Up

* Oregon Promise

Senior Class Representative

4 year music participation cord

David Jin

*Gear Up

*Kiwanis

*ELKS Most Valuable Student

*US Naval Academy

*University of Oregon

*George Fox

*Wheaton College

*Vanderbilt University

*Oregon Promise

Outstanding Math Student

National Honor Society

Al Barzee Citizenship Award

Senior Co-Class President

Superintendent’s Award

Honors Diploma

Salutatorian

Justice Kane

*Gear Up

*Oregon Promise

Outstanding Math Achievement

Superintendent’s Award

Izaha Karn

*Gear Up

*Siletz Studio

CTE Cord

Sofia Kavadas

*Gear Up

*Calvin J Ritchey Inspirational Basketball Player

Nathaniel Kay

*Gear Up

Cora Kehr

*Gear Up

*Oregon Promise

Outstanding Math Achievement

Superintendent’s Award

Honors Diploma

Kameron Kessler

*Gear Up

Oregon Air National Guard Enlistment

Clayton Kimberling

*Gear Up

*Bill & Jean Biggs Academic Athlete

*Oregon Promise

Kayci Klaar

*Gear Up

Cody Knott

*Gear Up

*Oregon Promise

*Corbin Athletic Scholarship

Bill & Jean Biggs Service to School

Tanner Landry

*Gear Up

Ehychka Logan

Indian Ed Cord

Miguel Lomeli

*Oregon Promise

Christopher Lopez-Ortiz

*Gear Up

*Portland State Ganas

Outstanding Math Achievement

Jacob Mayoral

*Gear Up

Angela Mazzari

Drama Rookie of the Year

Commitment to Excellence in Social Studies

4 year music participation cord

Superintendent’s Award

Sydney McCabe

*Gear Up

Grace McGowan

*Gear Up

Micah McLeish

*Gear Up

*Rotary

*Sodexo Food Service

*Zak A Kromer Memorial

*Edith A Modlin Memorial

*Oregon Promise

*Western Oregon University

Culinary Achievement CTE Cord

Outstanding Math Achievement

National Honor Society

Superintendent’s Award

Honors Diploma

Logan McLendon

*Gear Up

*Oregon Promise

Oregon Opportunity & Pell Grants

Senior Class Representative

Spencer Miller

*Gear Up

*Siletz Studio

CTE Cord

Clay Nelson

US Marine Corp Enlistment

Lexy Neves

*Gear Up

*Oregon Promise

Ana Ortiz-Reyes

*Gear Up

*Oregon Promise

Violet Palermini

*Gear Up

*Calvin J Ritchey Memorial Music

4 year music participation cord

Benjamin Petersen

*Gear Up

*Mid Columbia Bus Company

Outstanding Math Achievement

National Honor Society

Key Club

Josslyn Powell

*Gear Up

Keith Pratt

*Gear Up

*North Lincoln Ministerial Assoc.

*Oregon Promise

Indian Ed Cord

Lydia Prins

*Gear Up

*Kiwanis

*North Lincoln Eagles

*Rotary

*Samaritan North Lincoln Hospital Auxiliary

*California Baptist University Presidential Merit

National Honor Society

Don Morris Service to Community Award

ASB Secretary

Senior Class Representative

Community Service Green Cord

Superintendent’s Award

CTE Cord

Key Club

Jazmyn Reyes-Cornejo

*Gear Up

*Sodexo Janitorial

*Oregon Promise

AVID Recognition

Sydney Riddle

*Gear Up

*Mid Columbia Bus

*BillyAnn Stempel

*Dr Bethany Grace Howe LGBTQ Empowerment

*Oregon Promise

Outstanding 4 year Commitment and Excellence in Drama

AVID Recognition

Franc Schaffer Most Inspirational Award

Cristian Rodriguez

*Gear Up

Caitlyn Rundstrom

*Gear Up

*Oregon Promise

Savannah Russo

*Gear Up

*Siletz Studio

*Bill & Jean Biggs Academic Athlete

*Oregon Promise

National Honor Society

Senior Class Representative

Superintendent’s Award

Giovanni Salazar

*Gear Up

*Oregon Promise

Lilly Salsbery

*Gear Up

Senior Class Representative

Noah Sanders

Superintendent’s Award

Mad Scott

*Gear Up

*Kiwanis

*Rotary

*JoAnn Hamilton Memorial

*Oregon State University

*Linfield College

National Honor Society

Superintendent’s Award

Honors Diploma

Valedictorian

Daenan Sellers

*Gear Up

US Army Enlistment

Maleah Smith

*Gear Up

CNA Program Recognition

Senior Co-Class President

Chandler Thomas

*Gear Up

*Kiwanis

*Oregon Promise

Outstanding Math Achievement

Superintendent’s Award

Amelia Valentine

*Gear Up

*ECMC

*Minna Lee Beene Memorial

*Oregon Opportunity

*Oregon Promise

Outstanding Math Achievement

Superintendent’s Award

Kyle VanDamme

*Gear Up

Isy Vick

*Gear Up

*Phyllis Cary Chessman Merit in the Arts

*Oregon Promise

Social Studies Academic Excellence

Superintendent’s Award

Adrianna Wagoner

*Gear Up

*Oregon Promise

Culinary Achievement CTE Cord

Commitment to Excellence in Social Studies

Superintendent’s Award

Jon Weaver

*Gear Up

US Marine Corp Enlistment

Brigido Zacarias

Indian Ed Cord

Logan Merry

*Gear Up

  • denotes scholarship

Valedictorian Mad Scott’s commencement speech:

“Good afternoon everyone! On behalf of the Class of 2019, I would like to welcome all of the families, faculty, alumni, friends and guests to this special ceremony. Today, I have the honor to stand here as valedictorian beside my fellow classmates in a time of celebration. We have made it through the past 13 years of schooling with a lot of us having many more to come.

Mad Scott

“The senior class of 2019 is now embarking on a new chapter in our lives with possibilities of future career paths and interests that we desire. The decisions we make from this point on will steer the direction of what our future will be one day. The relationships that this class has acquired with its fellow classmates and teachers is something that will always be remembered, and will be influential to our lives.

“Though a small town can have its flaws, Lincoln city possesses a community that shares relationships with our students and has the ability to make a positive difference in our students’ lives. The relationships that I have built at Taft High School with the passionate and hard-working teachers have helped me acquire the knowledge I wish to apply in my future career path of business. The teachers at our school are individuals who have expressive teaching styles and are willing to find what a student has an affinity to do when they get older. We are truly blessed to be able to go to a school where new innovations and technologies are at our fingertips every couple of years.

“The hard work of Noah Lambie does not go unrecognized by myself or many others. He has sparked the flame in many young gifted individuals to chase their ambitions, expand their creativity and thoughts by introducing new opportunities in graphic designing, art, robotics and physics. During my first year of high school, I took robotics and I had no previous knowledge about the design process or how to work the various softwares used in the class, such as Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop.

“Over the past three years with the Lambie’s help, I have accomplished projects that involved the use of many advanced software programs and have been designing my own shirts, stickers, laser engraved pieces, skateboards and 3-D printed designs. From learning different techniques on how to become a graphic designer, physicist and even artist, Lambie has sparked the flame in many young lives, including myself, to challenge one’s efforts in obtaining relevant knowledge that is beneficial to their future.

“Mr. Bass is another teacher I would like to address for being the first teacher that has made a large impact on the way our students at our school view the business world. Bass has helped myself and many others learn to overcome their fear of public speaking and advised them on how to effectively and efficiently communicate to capture the audience’s interests.

“There are many other teachers at this school that have been positive figures in my life and the Class of 2019 that I have not listed, but I want to acknowledge these individuals for their excellence at our school, as well as inspiring the young minds of our generation. The teachers of our school are not credited as much as they should be for the extra hours they have worked and the readiness they express everyday in order to deal with hundreds of provocative and some so-called savage kids (especially some of our middle-schoolers).

“I would next like to give praise to the parents and guardians of the Class of 2019, for you guys are the devoted support system to our students and are attentive to our needs when we need a helping hand to understand something better. The bond that we share with our parents or our guardians is one that shows appreciation and friendship with one another.

“My parents are truly an inspiration to me by being some of the most hardworking individuals I have ever met. Their encouragement for me to excel in school and participate in sports is what has made me the person that I am today. Their acknowledgement towards what I’m passionate about is shown in many ways — one of them being my parents’ attendance at my every game and track meet. With the highest level of appreciation this is the devotion and care I respect and I wish to portray to my children one day.

“It is important that we recognize our parents today and we thank them for all that they have done for us. Our parents will always be there for us as we continue our journeys, whether it is close to home or far away. The bond of love will never be separated by distance and will always kept by one another.

“Our journey of obtaining knowledge is not over, for our lives have now been opened to great opportunities for years to come after graduating today. We are now just on the cusp of possibilities that are given to us in today’s ever-changing society. In front of us are years of life we have yet to live; years of experience and knowledge that we have yet to know. The years up until this one our path has been laid out for us, and, for the most part, ordered. Our schooling is chosen for us and our purpose and way of life is defined by those in charge and around us. Now, today, we stand here where we get to decide our own futures and our own paths. We have an endless amount of potential and freedom to go off and to make our own lives.

“From this day on I ask that my fellow classmates strive for their goals. To achieve success in any measure or fashion depending on a person’s goals, one must strive everyday to move forward. Success is something that is not always obtained right away. But this does not matter because not obtaining success is only fatal when you let it get in the way of perceiving your goals. Our goals are constantly changing and it is important that we learn from our mistakes and use the knowledge from failing to do better the next time.

“Within our generation our society comes up with many stereotypes about people that aren’t true for the sole reason that they like to dwell on these negative ideas. These stereotypes include allegations about what one likes to do, their race, hobbies, and even religion. And, today I stand proudly here on the stage breaking stereotypes by representing our Class of 2019 as a skateboarder who attends school regularly and excels in his classes. All of our backgrounds vary greatly from one another in our occupations, religions and hobbies. But in hindsight this difference has no hindrance of what we can achieve when we put our minds towards obtaining our goals.

“To expand on this idea, I would like to share a piece of advice from one of my favorite motivational speakers and the true Prince of Bel Air, Will Smith: “Greatness is not this wonderful, esoteric, exclusive, God-like feature that only the special among us will ever taste. It’s something that truly exists in all of us. This is what I believe, and, I’m willing to die for it. Period. It’s that simple.”

“One way to achieve greatness and success is to look back on life with no regrets. It’s the mindset of not dwelling on the things you could’ve done differently, but rather learning from your mistakes and moving on to achieve your future goals. The importance of not living with regret is also tied into the idea of not taking the hours, months or even days of life for granted. You should always live in the moment and enjoy your experiences for a certain time can only happen once.

“Ahead of us stand new relationships we shall build and places we shall go. We may make our dreams come true and even create new families. During these times we must do the things we love and participate in what makes us the individuals we are. High school is usually a one-round go of four years of experience that has impacted many of our lives in positive ways.

“For this reason, today should be a celebration of the Class of 2019, with our family and peers, for our students to start a new chapter in our lives. I wish each and everyone one of my fellow students strive to be the best versions of themselves in order to achieve success. Congratulations Class of 2019!” 

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Homepage Staffhttps://lincolncityhomepage.com/
Staff account: Articles written and/or edited to comply with Associated Press style and professional journalism standards.

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