The Class of 2017: Area schools prepare to say farewell to graduates

October, 2017 Posted in School

By Mary Owen

Local graduates are getting ready to step into the next phases of their lives.

Stayton High School

Stayton High will have 125 graduates receiving diplomas at 7 p.m. on Friday, June 9 at the Salem Armory.

The Class of 2017 valedictorians are: Grace Bromley, Kalie Harper, Jade Kast and Andrew Kuenzi. There are no salutatorians this year.

“The class of 2017 is one with young people, many talents,” said Principal Alan Kirby. “In addition to great scholars, we have a Future First Citizen, Skills USA champions, thespians, singers, athletes, dancers and many more.

“Even larger that all of that, we have a group of kids that are just simply fine individuals. We send them off to the next phase of life well prepared and confident they will do great things. Congratulations, Class of 2017.”

Cacade High School

Cascade High has 170 graduates this year. The ceremony was held at 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 31 on the CHS football field.

The Class of 2017 valedictorians are: Kateleen Elizabeth Vetter, Amanda Kate Wiebenga, Joshua Armando Osuna Sola, Molly Hanna Beilstein, Cade Grant Haskell, Brandon Angelo Martin, Elizabeth Nicole Dotter, Dominic Joseph Federico, Kathleen Gaolee Xiong, Taylor Joseph Chytka, Lydia Kayelyn Marie Bales, Corey Wade Nielsen, Alison Rebecca Harry, Shane Matthew Schnepp, Kiersten Taylor Van Dorp, Kenadee Raye Davidson, Marcus Isaac Neal Delamarter, Elisa Marie Kanoff and Michael Charles Biddington.

Salutatorian is Brandon Ty Yunker.

The senior quote is from Emily Dickenson: “Forever is composed of nows.”

Regis High School

Regis High will honor 43 graduates at commencement exercises at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, June 4 in the Regis gym.

The Class of 2017 valedictorian is Aidan Tabor and the salutatorians are Kerst Kingsbury and Branden Stuckart.

“The Class of 2017 is a remarkable group of young men and women,” said Principal Rick Schindler.

“I expect them to do great things in life. I want to express my most heartfelt congratulations on their hard work and achievement. Go Rams!”

Santiam High School

36 Santiam High graduates will receive their diplomas at the graduation ceremony beginning at 8 p.m. Friday, June 9 at the Santiam Junior/Senior High School gymnasium.

The Class of 2017 valedictorians are: Jackson Klagge and Brandon Saari. Salutatorians are: Randall Klagge, Julian Downey and Autumn Thomas.

“This senior class has experienced a lot during their four years at Santiam, both inside and outside the classroom,” said Principal Dave Plotts. “The district underwent several changes during their tenure, and this class had to make several changes to adjust to all the changes. The seniors took on the adversity and turned this challenge into an opportunity for growth.”

Through finding online opportunities to helping the school add several CTE classes, Plotts said many of these students are graduating with several college credits.

“This class experienced success in athletics and developed a very strong bond with each other,” he said.

“Though these students will all be going their separate ways after graduation, they will be remembered as a strong class that brought a lot of pride to the Santiam Canyon.”


Oregon Connections Academy may have as many as 500 graduates this year for the Class of 2017.

“We won’t know the final numbers until all the credits and grades have been assessed,” said Allison Galvin, ORCA executive director. ORCA does not have a valedictorian or salutatorian.

“There are two wonderful speakers chosen to deliver remarks during the commencement ceremony,” Galvin said.

“One of the featured speakers will be 18-year-old Taylor Hampton from Klamath Falls. Taylor is the first Oregon Connections Academy student body president, elected by her peers to service in that office when the school created the first ORCA student government last fall.”

The ceremony will be held in June in the Salem area.

“We are very proud of Oregon Connections Academy’s Class of 2017,” Gavin said. “It’s gratifying to know that our rigorous, personalized educational model helped our graduating seniors achieve their personal bests.

“This is a highly diverse group of talented students from urban and rural parts of Oregon, from large and small families, yet they are all connected by one statewide public school which has hopefully prepared them for the next chapter of their lives,” she said.”

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