Colton High School Graduation
Before the commencement for the Colton High School Class of 2019 began on the evening of Saturday, June 8, the 52 soon-to-be graduates gathered in the CHS multipurpose room to put on their gowns and caps.
"I am excited for this moment," Nick Bryant said. "This is a great little school where you can learn more about accepting others' views and not judge them because they are your friends and your community."
Javontae Maes said the class of 2019 feels like a school of best friends.
Kaelie Gates had painted a mural in the CHS multipurpose room of two graduates walking hand-in-hand into the future with the class motto from Ram Dass: "We're all just walking each other home."
"We have spent so much time together; we really are walking each other home with support, friendship, understanding, love and forgiveness," Gates said. "This class has learned we can make a better world."
After the hour together in the MPR for photo opportunities and reminiscing, the CHS band started to play "Pomp and Circumstance" while the class lined up to make their entrance into the gymnasium to applause and cheers from those in attendance.
After the graduates took their place on the bleachers, Mikaela Bjorn, Associated Student Body president for the class of 2019, welcomed students, staff and families.
CHS Counselor Lauren Holst mentioned that 65 percent of the graduates had applied and been awarded the Oregon Hope Scholarship that covers two full years of tuition at Oregon community colleges. Other students were headed to the military, universities, technical schools, apprenticeships and the workforce.
Principal Grant Hayball said the class of 2019 was a really driven class, closely linked, and he is excited to see where they all go.
School board president, Tim Behrens, told the students they were born to soar, told them to not to miss out on the most important gifts and to remember the people who brought them to where they are.
The six valedictorians, Rebecca Burge, Kaelie Gates, Lea Josephsen, Kendall Penni, Reed Schrosk, Annaliese Wimsatt and salutatorian, Summer Hazelton were introduced and spoke to their peers and families. Each touched on the one theme of the class of 2019 and that was that the class of 2019 is a community of different people who support each other through thick and thin.
Lea Josephsen said she is an only child and in her 13 years at Colton schools, she never felt alone; her class and teachers and school staff were her second family. She credited the unique personalities and strengths of each class member for creating such a strong community.
Reed Schrosk said the class had become a family—everyone accepting and working to bring out the best in each other. They were there to celebrate each other's successes and to offer a helping hand when needed. Summer Hazelton said the class has jokes that only other members of their class understand.
"Retired" teacher, Alan Bruner was voted by the class to be the commencement speaker. He said CHS is the smallest public high school in Clackamas County. He talked about the future and that the community of Colton is there to support them. He finished with, "Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable," this is the way to go into the next chapter of your lives."
Twelve members of the Class of 2019 graduated with honors diplomas: Jenelle Baker, Mikaela Bjorn, Rebecca Burge, Kaelie Gates, Summer Hazelton, Lea Josephsen, Shyan Myers, Kendall Penni, Reed Schrosk, Katrina Syvinski, Madeline Travis and Annaliese Wimsatt.
The class finished graduation night with an overnight party. They headed out in three vans to pizza at Mod, coffee at Dutch Bros., go-karting at Skykart, a trip to Wonderland, then off to Top Golf. About 1 a.m. the class headed to Seaside where they enjoyed a bonfire until heading home around 5 a.m.
"I had one of the best nights of my life with my class," Mikeala Bjorn said.