The Ritzville Adams County Journal - Eastern Adams County's Only Independent Voice Since 1887

By Brandon Cline
Managing Editor 

LRHS grads earn over $250,000 in scholarships

 

Journal photo by Brandon Cline

Guest speaker Dr. Laura Corley Lavine, professor and chair of the Washington State University Department of Entomology, poses for a selfie with LRHS Class of 2019 during their graduation ceremony on June 1 at the Gilson Gym.

Thirty-five young adults celebrated one of the biggest milestones of their life last weekend at the Gilson Gymnasium, as they graduated and received their diploma from Lind-Ritzville High School in front of an absolutely packed crowd of friends, family and fellow students.

Those 35 students combined to receive over $250,000 in scholarships as they seek to pursue higher education and future careers.

Valedictorian Sharon Anderson kicked off the ceremony with an address to her classmates and those in attendance. In her speech, she noted that their class was the first class to go through all six years of the Lind-Ritzville combine. Anderson focused on spotlighting and thanking the teachers and staff that the Class of 2019 have been taught by in those six years.

Some of Anderson's comments included:

"Mrs. York taught band, and that everyone marches to the beat of their own drum-especially the drummers. She taught us to be ourselves, no matter what."

"Ms. Koch taught independent living and family consumer science, and that it's easy to mix up the salt and sugar when you're making cookies. She taught us to take care of ourselves."

"Mr. Greenwalt taught tech, and accounting, and business math, and that if you send him a very long, angry text message, he will bump up your grade. Most importantly, he taught us to make smart decisions."

"Mr. Whitmore taught health, fitness and weight training, and how to drink coffee and eat popsicles by working out. He taught us how to make healthy choices."

Anderson capped off her speech by addressing the parents in the room.

"Parents, I'm sure you're feeling some mixed emotions right now about the places you've been sending your kids for years. But I assure you we have learned everything we need to know to pass the test of life," said Anderson. "We have made so many great memories together as Lind-Ritzville Schools, and I'm grateful for every single one of them."

The guest speaker for this year's graduation ceremony was Dr. Laura Corley Lavine, professor and chair of the Washington State University Department of Entomology. Lavine received her B.S. in biology from Lander University in 1992, her M.S. in zoology from Clemson University in 1995, and her Ph.D in entomology from the University of Kentucky in 1999.

Lavine-after taking a quick selfie with the Class of 2019-used her own path from high school and beyond to show that the graduating class should keep their options open, no matter what the clear path looks like at the moment. Lavine grew up in a small city in South Carolina, albeit much bigger than Lind and Ritzville.

"I had so many people who cared about me and wanted the best for me. I also had many people who did not care about me but had ideas about my future, like my high school guidance counselor," said Lavine. "We had a talk with my parents about where I should go to college. I was desperate to attend the University of South Carolina, a big city in the state capital. But she told my family that I would never make it there, and that I should go to the local state college."

Lavine said that she was devastated by what the guidance counselor had recommended. But in the end, she heeded the counselor's-and some of her family member's-advice. But the decision, Lavine said, turned out to be a good one.

"I thought she didn't care about me, but based on her own experience and her own knowledge, she actually helped me a lot. How did she help me? That small state school that she thought I should go to, Lander University, was perfect for me. I didn't know it then, but I'm a small-town girl at heart."

The guidance counselor ended up motivating Lavine for years as she traversed her way through higher education, although the counselor didn't know that. And although she's recounting this story in a positive way, Lavine said she has this to say to that counselor: "burn, lady! I did it, I'm a professor at the best land-grant university in the United States. You didn't think I could do it, but here I am."

Lavine said she hopes her story will help students in the LRHS Class of 2019 as they think about their future, as well as helping them remain open and receptive to advice from unexpected places. "It's hard to know things until you experience them yourselves."

Lacey Miller individually netted $109,000 in scholarships. She received the Big Bend Electric Co-op Scholarship, the Washington Wheat Ambassador Scholarship, the American Legion Bronc Booster Scholarship, Knox College Scholarship and the LRHS Alumni Association.

Sharon Anderson received $66,000 in scholarships. She received the Ritzville Warehouse Scholarship, the Phillips Family Foundation Scholarship, the AR PEO Scholarship, the Lind Education Association Scholarship, the Lind Lions Club Scholarship, the Northwest University Friday Visit Scholarship, the Northwest University Provost Scholarship, the Virginia Moorman Moore Scholarship, the Bronc Booster Scholarship and the LRHS Alumni Association Scholarship.

Devin Schafer netted $62,000 in scholarships. He received the Washington FFA State Agronomy Scholarship, the Lind-Ritzville FFA Alumni Association Scholarship, the John Dugger Ag Mechanics Scholarship, the LRHS Vocational Ag Scholarship and the WUE Scholarship from the University of Idaho.

Hannah Anderson received $5,000 in scholarships. She received the Carol Lee Kriebel Scholarship and the Ritzville Education Association Scholarship.

Bryce Kelly netted $1,000 in scholarships. He received the David L. and Francis G. Ray Scholarship.

Aaliyah Yaeger received $3,200 in scholarships. She received the Harold Farmer Memorial Agriculture Scholarship from Northwest College, the Pat Oestrich/Gun Club Scholarship and the LRHS Alumni Association Scholarship.

Kierstin Witt netted $9,650 in scholarships. She received the Distinguished Young Women Scholarship, the Washington State Opportunity Scholarship, the Eastern Washington University Presidential Award, the Pat Oestrich/Gun Club Scholarship, the Bronc Booster Scholarship and the LRHS Alumni Association Scholarship.

Faith Saint John received the Ritzville Nazarene Church Scholarship and the LRHS Alumni Association Scholarship.

Jessa Hoeft received the Ritzville Nazarene Church Scholarship.

Else Gielisch received Distinguished Young Women Scholarship.

Cinthia Guizar-Diaz received the LRHS Alumni Association Scholarship and the Lind Alumni Association Scholarship.

Madison Melcher received the Distinguished Young Women Scholarship, the Emanuel Lutheran Church Scholarship and the LRHS Alumni Association Scholarship.

LRHS administrators also presented students with awards who excelled in specific areas during their time in high school.

Journal photo by Brandon Cline

Lacey Miller hugs her mom-and Ritzville School Board member-Marci Miller after receiving her diploma at the LRHS Graduation Ceremony on June 1. Miller netted $109,000 in scholarships.

Hannah Anderson won the LRHS English Department Award, one of the Music Contribution Awards and one of the Inspirational Awards.

Gielisch won the Math Department Award.

Sharon Anderson won the Science Department Award and the Honor Cup, which is awarded to a student displaying integrity and honesty.

Morgan Brausen won the Technology Department Award.

Jacob Miller won the Social Studies Department Award.

Schafer won the Agricultural Department Award, one of the Inspirational Awards and the Harry P. Hays School Service Award.

Caden Liberty won one of the Music Contribution Awards and the Creative Works Award.

Lacey Miller and Kelly each won the Athletic Awards.

The ceremony concluded with the Class of 2019 slideshow presentation, as well as the awarding of diplomas by superintendent Don Vanderholm and school board chairs Layne Iltz and Jani Melcher.

 

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