Chugiak High graduates 257

Friday, June 8, 2018 - 13:58

Two decades after walking across the stage as a Chugiak High graduate, Megan Hatswell thanked the 257 graduates of her alma mater for letting her return to the school as their principal.

“Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your grand adventure,” the first-year principal said during the school’s commencement exercises May 15 at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage.

Having been in their shoes before, Hatswell told the graduates to use the occasion for reflection.

“Take a moment for me and just reflect on all that you have accomplished, all that you have experienced and all that you have learned along the way,” said Hatswell.

English teacher Stefanie Alexander echoed Hatswell’s sentiments in her keynote speech, touching on lessons from “The Wizard of Oz” to make her point.

“Be brave. Hold strong to your ethical center. Do the right thing even when everyone else is shirking,” Alexander said. “We all know what happened to that wicked witch when she turns her back on what’s important. She’s melting.”

Alexander told graduates to enjoy their newfound freedom but also consider returning home.

“Make a difference. Remember too where you came from and who you are, for indeed you are Alaska’s greatest resources. Also know that we here in the Great Land would be honored to have you back in our communities making those lifelong contributions,” she said. “Merely click your heels three times. Best wishes Class of 2018 as you begin your journey down that Yellow Brick Road.”

The ceremony featured performances by Ron Lange’s award-winning choir, including a 13-senior rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner” and an up-tempo performance of the song “Home” by seniors Liam Dooley and Harry Turner.

Hatswell also singled out retiring teachers Valerie Ekberg-Brown (social studies), Mary Ziemba (science) and school resource officer Rob Lund. Ekberg-Brown and Ziemba are both retiring after 25 years in the Anchorage School District — with Ekberg-Brow spending all of her years at the school on South Birchwood Loop.

Valedictorian Hanna Fitzgerald reflected on the nature of failure in her speech, saying it’s what helped drive her to the top of the class.

“We’ve all failed at something, whether it was big or small,” said Fitzgerald, who plans to study civil engineering at the Colorado School of Mines in the fall.

[For more photos from the event, see the Star’s 2018 Graduation Photo Gallery]

In addition to starring in the classroom, Fitzgerald was also one of Chugiak’s top riflery performers. But she said she likely would have never found the sport if it weren’t for getting cut from the volleyball team her freshman year.

“I used this failure to guide me to another sport — riflery. And for me, I absolutely loved it. Looking back, if I had not let that failure go, I am not sure I would have tried out for another sport,” she said.

Fitzgerald urged her fellow graduates to relentlessly follow their passions.

“The point here is that you cannot let failure be the end. Let it drive you. Let it show you the next thing.”

The ceremony also included a speech by Callum McLean, who reflected on the whimsical nature of high school and the hope a high school graduation brings.

“Right now, right today everything in your slate is clean,” he said.

McLean acknowledged high school had its ups and downs, but said he and his fellow graduates will always remember their shared four years of high school.

“Bad memories will fade into oblivion, but there will be a few good memories that you won’t forget,” he said.

Chugiak High School

Class of 2018

Valedictorian: Hannah Fitzgerald

Saludatorian: Gwendolyn Jones

Cody P. Aaron

Jordan J. Amarok

* Isabella R. Anderson

Skyler M. Arens

* Leah Justynn M. Atalig

Liam T. Baez-Terry

* Hailey E. Barnes

** Samuel L. Barnlund

* Elizabeth M. Barto

Tatum J. Bertholl

* Matthew T. Blackley

** Heidi A. Booher

Henry D. Boylan

** Alex R. Brandenburger

Hannah M. Brazfield

Emily E. Brink

Savanna L. Brooks

Augustus M. Brown

Kyle A. Brown

Mathias K. Brown

* Angelie Cristy R. Bueno

** Cheyenne K. Burke

Zane M. Butler

Luis A. P. Calderón

Kyan D.J. Campbell

Tyshawn T. Candley

** Tyler C. Carlos

Isabella Cerri

Acil C. Chapple

Allison K. Chase

Sarina A. Cheely

Kayla L.R. Chilligan

*** Kami Christensen

Sierra D. Clayton

Curtis J. Clendenen

Katerina J. Coe

Auburne S. Cogdell-Nehilla

** Sophie M. Comer

* Mark D. Connelly

* Sarah C. Copper

Lauren A. Cortez

Korban M. Cryder

Bailey E. Daugherty

Cody R. Davis

David H. Davis, Jr.

* Gabriella M. Dedmore

Tianna M. Del Rosso

Riley J.W. Demboski

* Lauren O. Devine

Austin A. Didrickson

Tyler J. Donajkowski

Liam C. Dooley

* Sasinipha A. Duangprom

Jonathan P. Duffield

Allyssah S. Edwards

Ian C. Elsmann

Casey B. Euler

Branden D. Ferriss

*** Hanna M. Fitzgerald

Kamri J. Forbush

* Ethan C. Forsyth

Branden A. Fortes

*** Christopher J. Fueg

* Leilani C. Fugere

* Marlon R. Funes Irias

Reann M. Gafford

Michael C. Galindo

** Peter A. Giannulis

** Skylar N. Gilbert

* Summer G. Gillette

* Wendy Gillette

* Sage E. Glafke

Patrick J Goodwill, Jr.

Alyssa J. Gregory

** Joseph R. Groth

** Dustin J. Haines

** Benjamin D. Hall

Emmett M. Hall

** Samuel F. Hall

Jonah M. Halter

Cole E. Hammill

April M. Harbison

** Gregory H. Harr

** Samantha C. Harris

Noah P. Hart

* Christopher S. Hatt

* Carson E. Head

Seth L.J. Hehl

** Rebekah D. Henckel

Michael L. Hickey

Remington W. Holtman

Courtney S. Hopson

Trenton M. Howard

Adam B. Huffman

Cheyenne M. Hutchison

Skyler M. Inda

Rosendo Jaimes

Jacob R. Jent

Emily R. Johnson

Hunter S. Johnson

Nadia M. Johnson

** Payton R. Johnson

Kaliyah C. Jonathan

Anthony T. Jones

*** Gwendolyn S. Jones

*** Matthew D. Jones

*** Natalie Keller

Mee N. Khang

Janna R. Knaak

Gina M. Kodiak

Brynn E. Kruchoski

Britney V. Kutch

*** Rebecca I. LaRue

* Charles J. Latimer

Ryan W. Lebo

Anthony K. Lee

* Calysta M. Lee-Lewis

Mong Lee

*** Ashton A. LeKites

Taylor M. Leonard

** Reed M. Levy

Jocelyn B. Lewis

Dalton D. Lodzins

Victoria N. Lopez

Ramal K. Maad

Zachary T. Macalino

*** Anna M. Madsen

*** Madelyn M. Madsen

Robert C. Maidl

Keola R. Makahanaloa

Nicolas A. Mann

** KayLee D. Manwaring

* Stephen R. Matthew

Ian R. McBride

Marken I. McDaniels

* Callum J. McLean

Colin S. McRae

Allegra V. Mergen

Seth A. Middleton

Colton B. Miltersen

* Angelina E. Montgomery

* Kennedy P. Moore

Taylor N. Morrison

* Malia S. Mortensen

** Darby L. Mullen

** Erin M. Mullen

* Lillian F. Murphy

Riley J. Murphy

Emma C. Nelson

** Garrett M. Nevells

Malina N. Nevins

Jack M. Newell

** Grace A. Nichols

Michael J. Norris

Ryan E. Odsather

Brandon M. Ohler

* Briana M. Panter

Terry Y. Park

Stephen M. Parsons

Mikenzie S. Patz

Nadia E. Paul

*** Ashley K. Paulus

Malcolm I. Pegues

** Jeremy E. Petrie

Kara J. Pokorny

Keonimana C. Quilinderino

Anthony M. Rabalais

Natalia Reut

Kaylee R. Rheault

Gaige B. Robinson

Carlos D. Rodriguez

Lance A. Rose

** Taylor M. Rukes

Patrick A. Russell

** Isaiah M. Samoniego

Jacob M. Schoelen

Timithy A. Schuerger

Cullen M. Schwartz

Samuel R. Shakhov

Emily A. Shelhamer

Savanna E. Simkins

Kenneth Sison

Victoria N. Slaven

Alexander P. Smith

*** Rebekah A. Smith

* Sydnee A. Smole

Derryk M Snell

* Evan A. Spencer

Alton Sage M. Stepetin

Kathryn K. Stewart

Jayde D.S. Stoffa

Ian M Stover

Annika D. Sullivan

Peter W. Symmes

Trevor M. Tarbox

Ryan J. Tester

Rebecca L. Thomas

Alex R.D. Thompson

Madison L. Thompson

Aaron P. Tomasuolo

Alexandria K. Toms

Tyler M. Trevino

Constance A. Trinidad

*** Alyssa Y. Tsukada

** Harrison A. Turner

Naomi M. Valdemar

Veronica Vampari

Kyosuke Vang

Goldnu Vue

Tracy P.D. Vue

* Emily C. Walden

** Jack C. Walters

Alyson L. Ward

Jeremiah R. Wasile

Adeline C.B. Watson

Drayelm M. Watson

** Rebekah A. Weaver

Chase S. Wedel

Ayvree D. Wegner

MacKenzie T. Weitzel

* William A. Welsh

Donovan G. White

Hunter A. Whitesell

Don’Vittorio M. Wilcher

Kenneth C. Williams

Ethan W. Wilson

Joshua J. Wilson

*** Ryan L. Winborg

* Brian P.N. Wing

Kade G. Worley

** Eric W. Yancey

Samel I. Yarian

Exchange Students

Isabella Cerri

Jule Jaensch

Deukgyu Kim

Tiago Da Costa PintoSoares

Veronica Vampari

Alternative Schools Participants

Orianna N. Arledge

Alivia B.M. Bailey

Dawn S. Banfield

Kyle A. Brown

Erica J. Buller

Daniel J. Casey

Keara K. Chaperon

Madeline R.I. Dennis

Hunter Doseck

Kody A. Froehle

Gweneth L. Gavalya

Cayden Groicher

Judah D. Kesler

Symphoni A. Mason

David J. Morton

Daneille N. Neff

Hunter Russell

Heidi E. Shuman

Emily D. Tejeda-Perez

Katelynn A. Toth

*Cum Laude

**Magna Cum Laude

*** Summa Cum Laude

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