Insights galore: Valedictorians, salutatorian talk about stress, learning, legacy

June 2016 Posted in School
The Silverton High School Class of 2016 valedictorians and salutatorian. Photo by Kristine Thomas.

The Silverton High School Class of 2016 valedictorians and salutatorian. Photo by Kristine Thomas.

By Kristine Thomas

Take one lunch sack. Fill it with 20 questions. Ask 16 honor students to reach in and pull out a question to answer.

“Can I draw another,” a few asked. There were some groans and sighs at another deadline, yet in the end, they responded with honesty and thoughtfulness.

For 2016 Silverton High School has15 valedictorians and one salutatorian.

The valedictorians are Nichole Beyer, Katie Brazelton, Baylie Cameron, Noah Chaparro, Noah Dahl, Hannah Hohenshelt, Kirk Martinson, Adrienne Metzger, Luis Morales, Courtney Roth, Lizzy Roth, Sam Roth, Naylee Scharer, Ally Schmidt and Whitney Ward. Salutatorian is Rosie Konovalov.


Nicole Beyer – A great teacher is…

The daughter of Stan and Kathleen Beyer, Nicole plans to attend Oregon State to major in graphic design and Spanish.

Explaining a high school student’s experience is directly related to the classes she takes, Nicole said good teacher can teach a subject but “a great teacher can push past the boundaries of conventional learning.” A great teacher makes the coursework relevant, provides insightful examples and incites an interest in the subject, she said. A great teacher connects “with students, exhibiting both seriousness and an easygoing attitude. They lay the foundation for students’ success in the future and mold the next generation of great thinkers.”

Kate Brazelton – Avoiding senioritis

The daughter of Debi and Dewey Brazelton, Kate plans to attend Oregon State’s College of Agriculture to study animal science with plans of being a vet.

If she could design senior year to prevent senioritis, Kate said she would design it around organization with weekend goals. “Planning out my entire week often makes me feel prepared and focused during school and my after school job, which allows me to take much needed time off on the weekends to go on ‘stay-cations’ or hang out with friends,” she said. “Having set goals to reach and a reward for when they’re met, makes the week seem not so long, and makes you feel accomplished at the end.”

Baylie Cameron – Tips for senior stress
The daughter of Gary and Denise Cameron, Baylie Cameron plans to attend Linfield College to study human performance/exercise science and join the soccer and track teams.

Baylie said stress can be a motivator to live a healthy, successful life. But stress can lead to distress. “Organization and prioritization are the best preventative strategies. But even with ample planning, I still have tough weeks of insufficient sleep and breakdowns. I believe students today are pushed to the limits. I think the pressure to be the best in one single subject or sport is highly unnecessary. Teachers, coaches, parents, and mentors need to advocate the importance of versatility in the student’s life.”

Noah Chaparro – Advice to Class of 2017

The son of Dahren and Eva Chaparro, Noah plans to attend Chemeketa Community College and then transfer to the Oregon Institute of Technology.

Noah’s advice to next year’s senior class is keep a weekly schedule.

“I never was one to write down my plans but senior year floods you with dates and deadlines. It is impossible to successfully juggle work, activities, homework, scholarships, college planning, college visits and a social life without setting a schedule,” Noah said. “I’ve tried it, and it made my work unhappy, my friends unhappy and I lost a lot of sleep.”

Noah Dahl – If he were principal… 

The son of Randy and Elizabeth Dahl, Noah plans to attend the University of Oregon this fall.

If principal for a day, Noah said there is one thing SHS needs from a student’s perspective.

“I would eliminate school prepared lunches,” Noah said. Instead the food would be prepared by Red Robin. “While this may seem to surpass our budgetary means, it would actually bring in more revenue, since everyone loves Red Robin and many more people would buy school lunch. I’ve got nothing against what the school makes now. I just really enjoy Red Robin and it would definitely make me forget about my PB&J.”

Hannah Hohenshelt – Silverton is home

The daughter of Spencer and Sarah Hohenshelt, Hannah plans to attend Corban University in the fall.

Hannah is thankful to have grown up in Silverton with tons of fond memories including the tree lightening, Pet Parade and July 3rd celebrations at The Oregon Garden. “I think Silverton’s small community has played a part in my academic success,” Hannah said. “Having the same people and community supporting me from kindergarten to senior year kept me motivated to work hard. No matter where the future takes me, I’ll always call Silverton home.”

Kirk Martinson – Class of 2016 legacy

The son of Jamie and Valerie Martinson, Kirk plans to attend Oregon State to major in bioengineering.

The Class of 2016 legacy? “Show me resiliency, and I’ll show you the class of 2016,” Kirk said. “We’ve won state championships and lost them, we’ve succeeded and we’ve failed, and never once did we stop growing. A disqualification from the spirit dance couldn’t stop us. $20,000 wasn’t enough for the Mr. SHS squad. Through it all, the Class of 2016 has proven it’s resilient time and time again. And maybe there are people out there who say we’re average, but they can get off our lawn. Because average only means we have greater potential and that’s exactly what resiliency will help us reach.”

Adrienne Metzger – Defines success 

The daughter of Kurt and Koreen Metzger, Adrienne plans to attend Oregon State to study BioHealth Science.

“For some people, success might be wealth or fame but for me it’s merely the idea of enjoying the simple moments of this life,” she said. “No matter how cliché,

when I’m 70 years old, I’ll consider myself successful if I can just sit out on my front porch on a rocking chair with my husband – sipping sweet tea and watching the sunset. Life doesn’t get much better than that.”

Luis Morales – To be successful… 

The son of Ramiro Morales and Ofelia Villarreal, Luis plans to study chemistry and business administration at the University of Oregon.

“To be successful, you need to be proactive, dedicated and you need to have passion in what you do. You do not need to be perfect, just simply stand by your accomplishments and feel proud. It does not matter how big your goals are, all that matters is how your accomplishments have positively affected your life and how you feel about what you have achieved. Most importantly, use your voice and lead yourself to success.”

Courtney Roth – Cherished memories The daughter of Tim and Becky Roth, Courtney plans to attend Oregon State and study BioHealth Sciences.

She said high school has been full of experiences and great memories including water balloon wars; state basketball tournaments and two state championships; funny moments in class, the Mr. SHS pageant and seeing her cousin, Grant Roth, wear a panda suit.  “My time at Silverton High School has been full of memories that I will cherish for a lifetime.”

Lizzy Roth – Hope for the future 

The daughter of Dave and Dawn Roth, Lizzy plans to attend George Fox University in the fall to study nursing

Lizzy said her peers have a great deal to offer the world and should not be underestimated. “We have the capability and the drive to accomplish incredible things, both in our communities and the world,” she said. “Whether it be as teachers, politicians, doctors, engineers, farmers, or other professions, we bring hope to the generations above us by setting into motion the values they’ve instilled in us.”

Sam Roth – Always give your best 

The son of Steve and Sue Roth, Sam plans to attend Northwest Nazarene University to study engineering and play basketball.

Sam’s favorite quote is from Steve Prefonaine: “To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.”

While there have certainly been days where he has been lazy, Sam said he tries try to give life every drop of effort that he can give. “In any activity, whether that be a basketball game or a choir concert, there has not been an instance where I regretted giving my best effort,” Sam said. “To not give your best is to cheat life, which is a gift in and of itself.”

Naylee Scharer – Possibilities of life 

The daughter of Betty and Robert Scharer, Naylee plans to attend Chemeketa Community College’s Scholars program.

Naylee turns to Audrey Hepburn for her favorite quote: “Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’!”

“It is empowering: it helps motivate me to believe I can achieve anything. The strong yet simple message is a great reminder to take on new challenges on a daily basis without stopping to doubt myself.”

Ally Schmidt – Next adventure 

The daughter of Dina and Ken Schmidt, Ally plans to attend Oregon State Honors College.

As a child, one of her favorite stories was Peter Pan. Her favorite quote is “To live will be an awfully big adventure.” “These words capture a childish spirit that hopefully is everlasting,” Ally said. “I want to live my life expecting that my story will be grand and that I will find adventure wherever I look.”

Whitney Ward – Driven class 

The daughter of Larry and Denice Ward, Whitney plans to attend the University of Portland with a major in pre-med.

Whitney said the class of 2016 is diverse. “We strive to succeed in sports, academics, music, drama, or agriculture, and that keeps us pushing for bigger and better. Although we are different, we have many similarities which finds us common ground. From the jocks to the nerds (myself included) we are a driven class, with a friendly attitude and desire for change.”


Rosie Konovalov – Dedicated 

The daughter of Agafia and Dennis Konovalov, Rosie plans to attend Chemeketa Community College and then transfer to study art and psychology.

“This years group of valedictorians and I share many qualities. We have dedicated our time and energy to our academics and to the community. We have been involved in different activities like sports, clubs, music classes, and art classes, sometimes all four. We push ourselves to our limits, not settling for just good, but working towards our best.”

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