Class of 2014 stands tall at graduation ceremony
Forty-nine seniors march down the aisle at Valdez High School Wednesday
Forty-nine seniors closed chapters in their young lives and immediately began another one by receiving their diplomas among friends and family Wednesday night.
When Carl Hedman, Jr. was just a baby, he spent most of his time in the hospital due a heart condition. The senior shared his story with his fellow classmates at last week's graduating ceremony at Valdez High School. Hedman was full of heart as valedictorian of the Class of 2014. He's heading to the University of the Alaska Fairbanks to study mechanical engineering.
This year's salutatorian, Isaac Deaton, quoted Henry Ford, saying, "If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right," during his address. As Valdez High School's only three-time state wrestling champion, he would know. Deaton is heading to the University of Nebraska-Kearney to wrestle for the Lopers while studying secondary education.
Overall, the Class of 2014 was awarded $200,096 in scholarships. Fourteen of them are staying in state to continue their education in the University of Alaska System, Prince William Sound Community College, or trade school. Eighteen are heading to out-of-state schools. Five are joining the military and six are going straight to the workforce.
The seniors weren't the only making a last stand that evening. Commencement speakers John Strang and Mona Riddle wrapped up nearly 50 years combined high school experience with the high school. Senior advisor Charles Kalmon and VHS principal Elizabeth Balcerek are also leaving at the end of the school year.
All America City Scholarship Isaac Deaton,Colleen Murphy; Valdez Emblem Club $514 each - Kelsea Hoffman Colleen Murphy, Kaili Park, Chloe Snow; UA Scholars Joshua Allen, Isaac Deaton, Carl Hedman, Jr., Samantha Lemieux Alaska Performance Scholarship Career Tech Levels 3-1 - Nathan Albright, Kacey Ezell, Christian DeLay, Wyatt Duncan, Kelsea Hoffman, Amanda Liddell, Rachel MacDonald, Colleen Murphy, Austin Rake, Joshua Allen, Cassandra Black, Kaden Cullen, Isaac Deaton Adam Downing, Shey Groenveld, Miranda haltness, Carl Hedman, Jr., Hannah Ivie, Samantha Lemieux,Regan Radotich Alaska Performance Scholarship Collegiate Levels 3-1 -Karen Deaton, Miranda Haltness, Amanda Liddell, Colleen Murphy, Cassandra Black, Christian DeLay, Wyatt Duncan, Carl Hedman, Jr., Austin Rake, Joshua Allen, Kaden Cullen, Isaac Deaton, Adam Downing, Emillie Fleck, Shey Groeneveld, Hannah Ivie, Samantha Lemieux, Regan Raddotich, Matthew Shidner Alaska Firefighters, Terminal Chapter Splash-In Award Colleen Murphy, Isaac Deaton, Cassandra Black, Carl Hedman, Jr., Miranda Haltness Copper Valley Electric Association Kacey Ezell, Isaac Deaton DAR Good Citizenship Emillie Fleck Fraternal Order of Eagles #1971 Kacey Ezell, Gabriele LaBonte Irene Copeland Educator Scholarship - Isaac Deaton, Karen Deaton, Colleen Murphy Valdez Chapter, American Federation of Teachers - Shey Groeneveld, Carl Hedman, Jr., Jacob Husingh, Caj Rohrer Valdez Community Hospital Auxiliary - Kelsea Hoffman, Chloe Snow Valdez Dart Association - Kacey Ezell, Carl Hedman Valdez Eagles Auxiliary Ann Kelsey Scholarship - Kelsea Hoffman, Chloe Snow Valdez Gold Rush Scholarship - Miranda Haltness, Gabriele LaBonte, Colleen Murphy Valdez Native Tribe - Cassandra Black Valdez Senior Center - Cassandra Black, Colleen Murphy Daryl Dickenson Memorial Scholarship & Buccaneer Citizenship Award - Colleen Murphy, Wyatt Duncan