Graduation Salutations!

Last Saturday marked an important day in the lives of 30 young Cordovans, possibly one of the most memorable days they’ve had.  The ceremony began with the horn, woodwind and percussion sounds of the CHS band as the graduates entered 2 by 2.  It was reminiscent of a Prom procession, especially since graduates could pick their “walking partner”.  Keegan Irving and Shannon Lindow were especially cute as they walked down the aisle together (fore-shadowing, you think?).

Walking Partners

CHS graduates receive honors

Salutatorian, Jessica Smyke, gave a great speech, highlighting an amusing event from each year of their school career.  This is one of my favorite things about Cordova:  this class (for the most part) has been together… in the same classroom… with eachother… for 12 years.  It was refreshing to hear Jessica talk to her classmates (all her classmates) with such kinship… truly as their peer, especially for so many of us who may not have even know the names of every person we graduated with.  Jessica spoke with confidence and optimism.  In line with her fellow graduates, her self-assured and familiar words speak volumes about this town.

Jessica was followed by Cordova High School‘s valedictorian, Christina Morrisett.  As she approached the podium, her graduation cap began to topple from her head and fell to the floor during the first sentence of her oration.  Without missing a beat, Morrisett continued with her speech.  Not until later in the ceremony did Christina’s awards declare her aptitude to the audience.  For the moment, her cheerful and astute words reminded us all of the enthusiasm and hope we once felt at our own high school graduations.  In this way, Christina managed to inspire not only her classmates, but the entire audience.  She ended with a discerningly relevant joke about toilet paper that landed a good chuckle from all & then gathered her misladen graduation cap. 

Cordova High School Graduation 2011

CHS graduates 2011

Now for the Awards presentations.  School Counselor Lois Moe bestowed congratulations on students as they stood and heard (many for the first time) all the scholarships and awards they had achieved.  And yes, many parents did have a pen and paper out as Mrs. Moe recited the dollar amounts associated with each award.  Pretty impressive stuff.  Among these awards, $8000 was given by Cordova Wireless and Cordova Telephone Cooperative who  contributed another $10,000 on top of that in support of Cordova schools and youth programs so far this year.  Christina received over $28k in renewable scholarships from Stanford University, and several students acquired continuing education support for classes and housing from the Native Village of Eyak, Ocean Beauty Seafoods and others. 

The cerermony ended with a traditional cap tossing and a truly Cordovan ending ceremonies.  The floor crowded with community members (many not related to a single CHS graduate) who shook hands and dolled out greeting cards to each student.  It almost seemed that a potluck would erupt!  So Cordova!

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