Published On: Sat, May 31st, 2014

Rain dampens ground, not spirits, at CHS graduation

Constance D’Elanna Cline receives her diploma from Cherokee High School principal Woodreen Caldwell at the school’s graduation on Saturday, May 31 at the Ray Kinsland Stadium.  (SCOTT MCKIE B.P./One Feather photos)

Constance D’Elanna Cline receives her diploma from Cherokee High School principal Woodreen Caldwell at the school’s graduation on Saturday, May 31 at the Ray Kinsland Stadium. (SCOTT MCKIE B.P./One Feather photos)

By SCOTT MCKIE B.P.

ONE FEATHER STAFF

 

The rain may have soaked the ground and everyone in attendance at the Cherokee High School graduation at Ray Kinsland Stadium on Saturday, May 31, but it sure didn’t dampen the spirits of the 54 students who received their diplomas.

The event began with an invocation by Ray Kinsland, “The Voice of the Braves”, who encouraged the students to pursue their dreams and keep education at the forefront.  “For centuries, the Tribe has put education as a priority.”

CHS Class of 2014 president Tagan Crowe commented, “It has been an honor to represent you…being a Brave you are instilled with the courage and ability to become whatever you choose.  Alumni before us have become doctors, lawyers, educators, tribal leaders, artists and entrepreneurs.  Tonight, we become alumni of this great school system.  We, too, could become these things and more.”

Jessica Lambert, Salutatorian, said in her address, “I never would have thought in a million years that I would be standing up here giving a speech on graduation day.  It just goes to show how with perseverance and continued effort we can get the things that we want most in life.  We all have the power to get what we want and be who we want to be.  Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you can’t because you can.”

This year, Cherokee High School had co-Valedictorians – Taran Swimmer and Jalon Lossiah.

Constance D’Elanna Cline receives her diploma from Cherokee High School principal Woodreen Caldwell at the school’s graduation on Saturday, May 31 at the Ray Kinsland Stadium.

Co-Valedictorian Taran Swimmer gives her address during Saturday’s graduation.

In her address, Swimmer noted, “It is our last day in Cherokee schools and our first day as young adults entering the real world.”

She shared advice she has received over the years from her teachers and family, “Don’t proscrastinate.  We have been told this many times, but deadlines are important and college professors and bosses won’t be as understanding as Ms. Edwards.  No one is holding you back.  The only thing standing in the way of your goals is yourself…only you can limit your possibilities.”

Lossiah said, “Honestly, I wish I would do it over again.”

“Since we can’t go back, we must go forward in life.  Today, we finish high school, but graduating high school is not the end, it is only the beginning, the beginning of the rest of our lives.”

He concluded, “As we go forward, I hope that no one takes anything for granted because life is too short for that.  My message to the senior class is to do your best, fight for first place, and enjoy every moment because life can change in an instant.”

Following the valedictory addresses, several awards were presented.  Steve Youngdeer American Legion Post 143 Commander Lew Harding presented the American Legion Outstanding Student Award to Fernando Mackenzie Garcia, the battalion commander of the CHS JROTC program.  Garcia also received a Pendleton Blanket designating him as the recipient of the Charles George Award for Military Excellence.

Steve Youngdeer American Legion Post 143 Commander Lew Harding (left) presents the American Legion Outstanding Student Award to Fernando Mackenzie Garcia, the battalion commander for the CHS JROTC program.  Garcia also was presented with a Pendleton blanket designating him as the winner of the Charles George Award for Military Excellence.

Steve Youngdeer American Legion Post 143 Commander Lew Harding (left) presents the American Legion Outstanding Student Award to Fernando Mackenzie Garcia, the battalion commander for the CHS JROTC program. Garcia also was presented with a Pendleton blanket designating him as the winner of the Charles George Award for Military Excellence.

Lucille Wolfe presented the NAIWA (North American Indian Womens Association) Awards to Swimmer and Lossiah.

Greg McGaha gave the commencement address in which he said, “At many high schools across the country, students organize themselves in cliques, and they do that by their differences…you all don’t do that.  You guys aren’t concerned with the differences amongst yourselves.  You are more concerned with your similiarities and commonalities that bind you all together.”

He said this was the first class he’s seen in his teaching career mature from freshmen to seniors.  “I’ve had the pleasure of watching you grow physically, emotionally, and it’s been awesome.”

The following students graduated on Saturday evening:  Taran Jade Swimmer, Jalon Quade Lossiah, Jessica Rose Lambert, Monique Dian Cherokee Paul, Avery Makayla Mintz, Tagan Kapp Crowe, Hunter Trey Lambert, Priscilla Eden Squirrell, Kayla Jean Pheasant, Earl Thomas Carroll Jr., Constance D’Elanna Cline, Miranda Adine Rae Smith, Kierstyn Jaimecia Zyor Arch, Michele Nicole Bird, Justin Nathaniel Buchanan, Andrea Emily Cedillo, James Everett Cucumber, Charaya Deshaye Driver, Raven Quinton Frankiewicz, Fernando Mackenzie Garcia, Courtney Jade George, Elis Sanchez George, Lauren Christian Goings, Gavin William Groenewold, Kevin Michael Hart II, Kaitlyn Tiffany Johnson, Chicoah Josephine Ledford, Derrick Kylar Ledford, Dominique Paige Locust, Ashley Nicole Mahan, Trinniti Angelique Marmon, Larissa Rae Martinez, Holly Anne Meuse, Bekke Elisabeth Montelongo, Joi Rheann Owle, Chebon Tomas Postoak, Adam Hawk Powell, Christopher Terron Queen, Silas Esiyah Reed-Littlejohn, Zia Tai Taleen Sadongei, Josephine Lyn Saunooke, Ashlyn Brooke Spicer, Stevi Danielle Sutton, Darren Dwayne Swayney, Levi Agasga Swearengin, Damon Austin Taylor, Darius Mycah Thompson, Jesse Benjamin Toineeta, Selena Jade Torres, Jaylen Raquel Welch, Kardasie Cheykotay Latri West, Jacob Neal Wilnoty, and Wade Deweese Wolfe.

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