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Seniors cross the stage for their diplomas and welcome the newest chapter in their life.

COURTESY PHOTO: PARK ACADEMY - Seniors crossed the stage on June 11 for their diplomas.On Saturday, June 11, seven Park Academy students walked the graduating stage and took the next steps in their life.

Park Academy serves students in grades three-to-12 who have dyslexia or other language-based learning differences.

After an unexpected high school years because of the pandemic, the seven graduating students will head to local universities, take a gap year or enter the workforce.

Braydon Egeland

Egeland has been at Park Academy for eight years. He is grateful for all the teachers he's had over the years because he knows they all want to see the students succeed. His first class in history, when Mr. Morrison showed students a video of a watering hole where the neanderthals were fighting over the water with sticks and bones, which was especially memorable to him.

Egeland is an enthusiastic gamer and thinks a perfect day involves eating junk food and sleeping all day. Egeland will be attending Clackamas Community College next year to study welding and electrical engineering.

Egeland's mantra is, "have fun and enjoy life."

Tori Rhodes

Rhodes first attended Park Academy as a ninth grader. She is grateful for the support she received and would like to thank all of her instructors for teaching her not only about their subjects, but giving her the opportunity to learn more about life. She feels she has grown tremendously in her four years here.

Rhodes will miss the connection she felt sitting in the lounge talking with her friends and listening to their jokes. She will attend George Fox University in the fall to study kinesiology to become a recreational therapist. She is drawn to this field out of her desire to help people become more authentic. Rhodes is quite the artist and enjoys beading and writing poetry, according to staff.

Rhodes' mantra is, "you always have a choice — just take responsibility for the results."

Ezra Papst

Papst started at Park Academy in ninth grade. She is grateful for her teachers and the strong relationships she's been able to build with them.

Papst will miss the tight-knit community at the school and the connectedness she has always felt. She is attending Portland Community College and will then transfer to a four-year university to study psychology.

Outside of school, Papst is a creative soul and enjoys playing music, making jewelry and painting landscapes and brides, according to school staff. She wants to be able to help people and make a difference in their lives.

Papst's mantra is, "love is the only reason we are here."

Garrett Gettmann

Gettmann joined Park Academy in eighth grade. He is very grateful for the connections he's established with his teachers. He says he has always felt "seen and heard" at school and will miss that tremendously.

He is looking forward to taking a gap year and then enrolling at a vocational school the following year. In his spare time, Gettmann enjoys playing his bass guitar and runs the labor union at his jobsite. Garrett dreams of being a chef and maybe owning his own food truck. Gettmann's mantra is, "take it one day at a time and take everything with a grain of salt."

Zachary Clayhold

Clayhold joined the Park Academy community in his sixth grade year. Clayhold is going to miss the help his teachers give him, like providing him notes and explaining things in a way he understands.

Clayhold is a Mariners fan and loves taking in a game with his dad when he's not watching video games. He is going to attend Portland Community College after graduation and is interested in computer science and mathematics. He wants to be a "tech guy" and maybe learn programming. Clayhold's mantra is, "Zach likes Pi".

Conner Garrett

Garrett started at Park Academy in sixth grade. He is grateful for all of his teachers and the one-on-one help they have given him. Mr. Barnes and Mrs. Roach were stand-outs for him personally. He is an avid gamer and loves a good cup of hot chocolate at the local coffee shop. Garrett plans on attending Clackamas Community College to pursue an associate's degree in music technology and production. His mantra is, "you don't have to be defined by your past."

Heather McCampbell

McCampbell first attended Park Academy in ninth grade. She will miss all of her teachers and the atmosphere at the school. She says the way the teachers treat the students and their willingness to help is amazing. McCampbell loves baking and cooking, playing video games and art.

She makes a mean batch of buttermilk biscuits and is working on her sausage gravy, according to school staff. After graduation, she hopes to get a job and maybe attend college later. She thinks a career in beekeeping or horticulture might be on the horizon.

Her mantra is, "friends are the family you choose."

Park Academy administrator Elizabeth Dove contributed to this article.

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