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Graduation Day

There’s a time for joy
A time for tears
A time we’ll treasure through the years
We’ll remember always
Graduation day

Though we leave in sorrow
All the joys we’ve known
We can face tomorrow
Knowing we’ll never walk alone

When the ivy walls
Are far behind
No matter where our paths may wind
We’ll remember always
Graduation day

A sea of nearly 100 students draped in black caps and gowns and orange-and-white stoles representing the Taft High 7-12 Class of 2018 marched triumphantly onward into their new lives Saturday at commencement ceremonies in a crowded gymnasium.

TolanCheers were shared and tears were shed as departing Taft Principal Majalise Tolan introduced the graduates to the future as the tassels were tossed during the hour-long festivities that began at 2:18 p.m. to represent the year 2018.

The ceremony included short farewell speeches filled with well-wishes from co-senior class presidents Naomi Rini and Maya Hatton, and valedictorian and Associated Student Body President Margery Price, whose middle name – appropriately enough — is “Bright.”

A boisterous post-ceremony party was then held for graduates, their schoolmates, family, friends, faculty, staff and administrators in the adjacent school commons before the crowd dispersed and the graduates departed to embark on the next chapter in their lives.

Taft High Class of 2018 Graduation

Taking the walk into the next chapter of their lives. Congratulations Taft Tigers.

Posted by Lincoln City Homepage on Saturday, June 9, 2018

 

 

Principal Majalise Tolan’s Farewell Address
(Tolan is departing for the position of School Improvement and Secondary Curriculum Administrator with the Lincoln County School District)

Welcome to the Class of 2018!

I would like to start off by thanking the parents, family members, and friends of all of those sitting on this stage today. To say that they wouldn’t be here without you is an understatement. To the Oceanlake, Taft Elementary, and Taft 7-12 staff here today, thank you for joining us at the culminating family engagement event in these students’ educational career.

I would like to thank Director Karen Bondley and Director Liz Martin from the Lincoln County School Board for celebrating with us today. I would also like to thank Sandie Tucker and Diana Elroy. Without their hours of above-and-beyond service to our school, this event would not take place. To Paradise Carpet Cleaners, thank you for once again providing us with fans to try to keep this gym comfortable. And lastly, thank you to Heather Hatton for her graduation photos that will be free for families, friends and graduates and can be found on the Taft 7-12 Facebook page.

Now, to the graduates. The last few weeks have been an exciting time of celebrating your accomplishments and successes while at Taft High School. Your class led the way in many “firsts” for all of us. We had 13 performing groups compete at the state level this year, with many individuals and teams placing. While this may not seem like a big deal, it speaks volumes of your class. You brought us Arts Appreciation Week, the annual Talent Show, and finally won Milli Vanilli, another first for your class! Your class is full of leaders in the arts, sciences, and athletics. To hear a number of you say that you are aspiring to be teachers does not surprise me and inspires me. Teachers give. The Class of 2018 gives.

Whenever needed, the Class of 2018 has been there. Volunteering to help younger students with music lessons, collecting candy, selling ducks, holding fundraisers for other charity groups and organizations, putting up pinwheels, working with the Humane Society, and providing an automotive lesson in the cafeteria and petting zoo in the parking lot are just some of the things you have been involved with. You have fed more than a flame to keep people warm in the winter. Your class has fed the flame to create a positive school culture for the last four years. This work has not gone unnoticed by your school and community, with your class collecting $78,700 in local scholarships alone. Today, I gave each of you a thank you for your time at Taft. On one hand, that was for you, on the other hand it was for you to share. Graduates, take your thank you now to share.

Now, for just a little bit of advice. I first entered Taft 10 years ago for an interview. I was 27 and about to change the educational world. I was sure of it. Graduates, never let anyone tell you that you are too inexperienced or young to follow your heart and passion. I fell in love with its story… a community who cared and a building of staff and students who persevered. In my interview for the assistant principal job I remember the question well. Graduates, this is a constant question for almost any job… always know your answer, and when it changes, be good with that, too. The question was, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” My answer was direct. In five years I would be the principal at the best high school in the state of Oregon. When I accepted the position, I did the most important things I know to do…. go all in, build relationships and love hard.

And it happened. Five years after that interview I was the principal of Taft 7-12.  And I quickly learned something….in order to be the principal of the best high school in Oregon, you have to live in the best community and have the most dedicated staff and students. It has to be the perfect storm, if you will, and I was blessed to be on the ship. Louisa May Alcott said, “I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning to sail my own ship.” Graduates, I believe this statement to be true, but only because I have learned that to sail my own ship through storms, a strong crew is needed. During my time at Taft, I had that crew. I believe I am outnumbered 800 to 1 on a daily basis and the ship is sailing. When I leave in a few weeks to take on a new position at the district office, the ship will keep sailing because it is about the culture of the crew, the crew of 800, and the crew here is dedicated, involved and loves hard.

In less than an hour you will be a member of your new adult community – get involved. Don’t leave involvement at the door of Taft 7-12. Keep feeding that flame here or in a new place. Join Kiwanis, Rotary or volunteer at one of the local schools. Find a way to be part of something bigger than yourself. You have made making this school great a priority for four years – keep going. Make everywhere you are and everything you do something great.

Congratulations Class of 2018. You are ready!

ASB President Margery Price’s valedictorian speech:

John Henry Newman, a writer I read for the first time in a class here at Taft, once argued that education is more than simply a transfer of knowledge. He said, “It is education which gives a man a clear, conscious view of their own opinions and judgments, a truth in developing them, an eloquence in expressing them, and a force in urging them.” Classmates– within these walls you have gained an education. Build on it. Use it, not just for the information but for what it taught you.

We are a cohort from the cradle of terror. Of fact. Of bliss. Of social change. We are stepping into the rest of our lives with depth beneath us, force behind us, and a path of unrivaled potential at our feet. We are also the heart of the “tech generation.” It’s no secret. As everyone from teachers to parents to internet preachers likes to remind us, we were born and raised, for the most part, with even the furthest reaches of the planet at our fingertips. As we’ve grown up, this point has often been one of scrutiny. Of scorn. Fellow graduates, do not let it be so.

Do not let the criticism of your generation define your generation. We are connected, yes. But we are better for it. Our connections engage us firsthand in a world changing more rapidly than ever before. They link us to stories beyond all fathomable imagination, to lives calmingly parallel with our own. They link us to headlines and trends and information from every corner of the map, strengthening not only our understanding of the world, but of our place in it. They link us to each other most of all– humans alike, near and far, creative, unique, strong, inspiring, whether we’ve known them for our whole lives or for ten seconds.

And so, my listeners, I implore you– read beyond the book. Read between the lines. Our society has so much to offer you– perspectives, knowledge, opinions, opportunities, libraries, websites, stories, people. The world we live in is full of connections, yes, but they’re worthless if you don’t use them.

Our connections make us citizens. They take what we have learned in school and make it tangible. Social Studies, Psychology, Music, Literature, Mathematics, Science, Art, Business– all these subjects and countless more not only relate to the world, but prepare us for it. Like Newman said, we must use our education and the connections that complement it for the good of not only the world, but of our own minds. We are a resilient, beautiful, and intelligent collection of individuals with unrivaled potential and unfathomable courage, and the bridges we build now will connect our lives for years to come.

At this point in my life, there is not much I can be sure of. There are so many different ways my life could go from here that it’s impossible to predict most everything– except for this: we will change the world. Our generation will change the world. Talented and diverse and unafraid of the wonders forming at our feet, we will rise above those who doubt us and show them they are wrong.

Taft High 7-12 Class of 2018 Graduates

Academic Awards (*denotes scholarships)

Ruben Ahumada

*Gear Up

Excellence in Jazz Band

Sydney Anderson

*Gear Up

*AAUW

*Zak Kromer

AVID Tutor

Excellence in STEAM

AP Physics

National Honor Society

Superintendent’s Award

Honors Diploma

Gabe Arce-Torres

*Gear Up

*Kiwanis

*North Lincoln Eagles

*Rotary

*Samaritan North Lincoln Hospital Auxiliary

*JoAnn Hamilton

*Western Oregon University Merit Scholarship

*Western Oregon University Athletic Scholarship

Leadership-ASB Class Representative

Principal’s Award

College Biology

National Honor Society

Superintendent’s Award

Honors Diploma

Jocelyn Arguello

*Gear Up

*Samaritan North Lincoln Hospital Auxiliary

AVID Tutor

Jorja Arguello

*Gear Up

Madison Bayer

*Gera Up

*Frank Martin

National Honor Society

Superintendent’s Award

Lily Benham

*Gear Up

*Sodexo

Jonathan “Hunter” Bishop

*Gear Up

Excellence in STEAM

AP Physics

Blake Blakely

*Gear Up

Colby Bolan

*Gear Up

Kayla Braguy

*Gear Up

Kailynn Burbidge

*Gear Up

Enriching Contributions in Social Studies

Math Achievement

College Biology

Chris Carlson

*Gear Up

Jennifer Castro

*Gear Up

English Language Learner Excellence

Cash Cavendish

*Calvin J Ritchey Inspirational Basketball Player

“Quit Observer” Award

Aaron Chadwell

*Gear Up

*Tiger Forward

Culinary Leadership

Math Perseverance

Brendon “Scott” Chavez

*Gear Up

Madison Clanton

*Gear Up

*Sodexo Custodial

Community Service-Green Card

Riley Clark

*Gear Up

*Kiwanis

*Bateman Funeral Home

*Rotary

*Charles Elroy Memorial

*Marcy Taylor Memorial

*OSEA

*Sunshine Club

National Honor Society

Superintendent’s Award

Honors Diploma

Haylee Cochrane-Valencia

*Gear Up

*Eastern Oregon University Scholars

Indian Education Recognition

Rachel Compton

*Gear Up

Excellence in Choir

Principal’s Award

College Biology

Andrew Day

*Gear Up

“Rising Up” Award

Ben Delhorno

*Gear Up

*Gleneden Beach Community Club

Most Improved Math

Community Service Green Cord

Don Morris Service to Community

Key Club

Joseph Ellis

*Gear Up

Brandon Erickson

*Gear Up

*Oregon Coast Scholars

*Edith Modlin Memorial

*Phyllis Cary Chessman

Excellence in Social Studies

Superintendent’s Award

McKenzie Evenson

*Gear Up

Alliyah Flores-Keeley

*Gear Up

Indian Education Recognition

Club Social

Jesse Freeman

*Gear Up

Superintendent’s Award

Ashley Gamboa-Lara

*Gear Up

Club Social

Skylar Getty

*Gear Up

College Biology

David Gray

*Gear Up

Indian Education Recognition

College Biology

Logan Greenwood

*Gear Up

Mary Greenwood

*Gear Up

*Oregon Coast Scholars

*Minna Lee Beene Memorial

Superintendent’s Award

Faith Hacker

*Gear Up

College Biology

National Honor Society

Superintendent’s Award

Christopher Hatcher

*Gear Up

Maya Hatton

*Gear Up

*AAUW

*Bill & Jean Biggs Academic Athlete

*Kiwanis

*Rotary

*Dave Bice Memorial

*Frank Olsen Memorial

*Elks Most Valuable Student

Community Service Green Cord

Leadership Co-Class President

AP Physics

National Honor Society

Superintendent’s Award

Honors Diploma

Salutatorian

Sydney Hodges

*Gear Up

CNA Program Recognition

Zanielle Hudson

*Gear Up

Ayala Irvin

*Gear Up

*Kiwanis

*Mid Columbia Bus

*Rotary

*Billy Ann Stempel

Calvin J Ritchey Memorial for Music

Corbin University Chancellor’s Scholarship

Math Achievement

Community Service Green Cord

Key Club

AP Physics

National Honor Society

Superintendent’s Award

Honors Diploma

Caleb King

*Gear Up

Assistant Athletic Director

Collin Kisor

*Gear Up

National Honor Society

 

Cole Kissell

*Gear Up

Antonio Lascano

*Calvin J Ritchey Inspirational Basketball Player

“Quiet Dedication” Award

Samuel Long

*Gear Up

Al Barzee Citizenship Award

Key Club

AP Physics

National Honor Society

Superintendent’s Award

Bulmaro Lopez

*Gear Up

O’Malley Martin

*Gear Up

*Kiwanis

*Rotary

LCSD Administrators

AP Physics

National Honor Society

Superintendent’s Award

Daniel Mathews

*Calvin J Ritchey Inspirational Basketball Player

“I’ve Got This” Award

Principal’s Award

Kyliann McClain

*Gear Up

National Honor Society

Kolton McLaren

*Gear Up

Enriching Contributions in Social Studies

Cooper Miller

Gear Up

Wesly Miller

*Gear Up

Samuel Moreno-Islas

*Gear Up

*Sodexo Food Service

Culinary Leadership

Hailey Morris

*Gear Up

*Hawaii Pacific

Club Social

“Rising Up” Award

Community Service Green Cord

National Honor Society

Noelani Napoleon

*Gear Up

*Zak Kromer

Language Arts Achievement

US Marines Distinguished Athlete

Excellence in Social Studies

Math Achievement

College Biology

National Honor Society

Superintendent’s Award

Honors Diploma

Ashley Noriega

*Gear Up

Elva Noriega

*Gear Up

Eric Nicolas-Fuentes

*Gear Up

Preston Nightingale  

*Gear Up

ECMC

Math Achievement

Key Club

AP Physics

National Honor Society

Fatima Ochoa

*Gear Up

Community Service Green Cord

Carlos Ortiz

*Gear Up

Bonny Patel

*Gear Up

Oregon Coast Scholars

US Marines Scholastic Excellence

National Honor Society

Superintendent’s Award

Thomas Patterson, III

*Gear Up

Juan Perez Del Valle

*Gear Up

College Biology

Margery Price

*Gear Up

*AAUW

*Kiwanis

*North Lincoln Eagles

*Rotary

*Williams Family Foundation

*Charles Elroy Memorial

*University of Oregon Summit Merit Scholarship

Excellence in Science

Excellence in Band

Community Service Green Cord

Franc Schaffer Most Inspirational

Leadership ASB Co-President

College Biology

National Honor Society

Superintendent’s Award

Honors Diploma

Valedictorian

Hunter Riggs

*Gera Up

*Phyllis Cary Chessman

College Biology

Naomi Rini

*Gear Up

*Blue Mtn Community College

AVID Tutor

Leadership Class Co-President

Bryan Rupprecht

*Gear Up

Joshua Salsbery         

*Gear Up

*Sunshine Club

US Marines Distinguished Athlete

AVID Tutor

Edward Sanchez

*Gear Up

Kira Sciarrotta

*Gear Up

*Oregon Coast Scholars

CNA  Program Recognition

College Biology

National Honor Society

Superintendent’s Award

Honors Diploma

Sililo Scanlan

*Gear Up

Athena Skoglund

*Gear Up

Alex Smith

*Gear Up

Key Club

Ivan Stallard

*Gear Up

Jack Stempel

*Gear Up

*Johnson Family Memorial

*Bill & Jean Biggs Academic Athlete

*Kiwanis

*North Lincoln Eagles

*Rotary

*ECMC

*Charles Elroy Memorial

Community Service Green Cord

Bill & Jean Biggs Service to School

Leadership ASB Class Representative

Principal’s Award

College Biology

National Honor Society

Superintendent’s Award

Honors Diploma

Jamie Stephenson-Noble

*Gear Up

*Oregon Coast Scholars

College Biology

Superintendent’s Award

Alyssa Tanksley

*Gear Up

*Kiwanis

*Rotary

*Siletz Bay Music Festival

*Sodexo

*Phyllis Cary Chessman

US Marines Musical Excellence

Leadership ASB Co-President

National Honor Society

Superintendent’s Award

Katie Toro-Rodriguez

*Gear Up

Special Recognition

Rosemary Toro-Rodriguez

*Gear Up

Special Recognition

Diana Trapala-Fernandez

*Gear Up

Eneki Trujillo

Excellence in STEAM

Kindley Valenzuela

*Gear Up

Lisamar Velazquez Cornejo

*Gear Up

Club Social

Tora Vinter (Bailey Warner)

*Gear Up

Excellence in Art

College Biology

Taylor Welch 

*Gear Up

Karl Wohlwend

*Gear Up

Ean Wood

*Gear Up

Dawson Wood

*Gear Up

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