Eight to lead graduates

Six seniors have been named valedictorians and two salutatorians for the Sweet Home High School Class of 2010 commencement ceremonies this Friday.

Valedictorians are Jayce Calhoon, Eric Holmes, Alisha Huschka, Levi Marchbanks, Kieran Schaefer and Andrew Winslow. All seven have GPA’s of 4.00.

Cory Ellingboe and Celena Westfall have been named salutatorians.

Valedictorian Jayce Calhoon

Calhoon, 18, is the son of James and Junia Calhoon. He plans to attend the University of Wyoming to pursue a pre-veterinary medicine degree, then attend Oregon State University to study veterinary medicine.

“My favorite classes have pretty much been classes that have been helping out with my major,” he said. “I really liked biology, especially during my freshman and sophomore year. That really interested me. It kind of helped me plan out what I want to do.”

He said he also liked studying anatomy, physiology and wellness €” the latter in Tim Little’s class.

Calhoon, who was a 10-time state swimming champion for the Huskies and helped them to two state team titles, said winning state was one of his goals, along with a 4.0 GPA. He also got a scholarship to swim at Wyoming, which he said became a goal when he was a junior and senior

He said he would advise students entering high school to “go in there with your head on straight and have an idea what you want to achieve.

“If you work hard enough, you can accomplish it. It’s a long trip but once you’re done, it feels short.”

Valedictorian Eric Holmes

Holmes, 17, is the son of Nanette and Jeffery Holmes. He plans to attend Berea College in Kentucky, where he wants to pursue something in linguistics, possibly Spanish or French, then join the Peace Corps.

“I just kind of want to go down to the Caribbean and teach little kids, do something to better the world,” he said.

Holmes said his two favorite subjects at Sweet Home have been Spanish from Eileen McHill and Spanish with Cheryll Munts.

“I also enjoyed P.E. with (Tom) Horn and (Chris) Hiassen,” he said.

He also played water polo and golf at Sweet Home. He said the Berea coach has invited him to play there.

He’s also been a member of the Amnesty International Club at Sweet Home.

Holmes said his experience in high school has been “pretty positive.”

He said he would advise a student entering high school to “not take things too seriously.

“As soon as you let school overwhelm you, it will overwhelm you,” he said. “But if you keep a healthy balance of school and personal life, you’ll do good.”

Valedictorian Alisha Huschka

Huschka, 18, is the daughter of Hal and Loanne Huschka.

She plans to attend the University of Oregon and major in mathematics, with the intent of teaching that subject one day.

“I’ve enjoyed math classes €“ calculus and pre-cal,” she said. She said she likes it because it is a black and white subject.

“From being in history and English, classes like that, there are many ‘right’ answers,” she said. “In math everybody comes up with the same answer.”

Huschka has played volleyball for four years and played basketball as a freshman. She also was involved in the class board and in Leadership Class during her junior year.

She said she would advise a new high school student to stay on top of their workload.

“Do your homework,” she said. “I know a lot of teachers stress it and it’s really important. Don’t take the short end of the stick; don’t try to scoot your way through. Do quality work that you’re going to get credit for.”

Valedictorian Levi Marchbanks

Marchbanks, 18, is the son of Todd and Karen Marchbanks.

He plans to dual-enroll at Linn-Benton Community College and Oregon State University, with a major in engineering.

“I like math and science,” he said.

A three-sport athlete at Sweet Home, who played football, basketball and baseball, he said he liked P.E. the best but also enjoyed chemistry, government and calculus.

His advice to newcomers to high school: “Stay on top of everything. Make the teachers happy.”

Valedictorian Kieran Schaefer

Schaefer, 18, is the son of Michael and Karen Schaefer.

He plans to attend Seattle University, where he is expected to join the swim team. Schaefer swam for four years at Sweet Home, playing a large role in the Huskies winning two state championships, and briefly played water polo.

He said he plans to major in physics or possibly pursue architecture.

“I liked math, science and history” at Sweet Home, he said. “I didn’t like English.”

He was also involved in Class Board and Leadership.

He said his advice to younger students is to go after what they want.

“I think I have to say that as long as you want something bad enough, you can get it,” he said. “I’ve had a lot of close calls in swimming and academics, but when it came down to the test, if you want it, you’ve got to prove it.”

Valedictorian Andrew Winslow

Winslow, 18, is the son of Keith and Brenda Winslow.

He plans to attend Whitworth College in Spokane, Wash., where he intends to pursue a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry.

Then he plans to transfer to a larger school to earn a master’s and Ph.D. in the subject so he can become a research scientist in disease research.

“I’ve liked science classes €“ physics and chemistry are my two favorites,” he said.

He also has been involved in student government and Leadership €“ lots of extracurricular activities like sports and events that the school had.”

Winslow played baseball and soccer all four years in high school.

He said he has learned from his high school experience that “if you work for something, your work ethic determines if you get what you want. The work you put into it will make it worth it in the end.”

Winslow’s advice to those entering high school: “Don’t be a nuisance to teachers and you’ll do fine.”

Salutatorian Cory Ellingboe

Ellingboe, 18, is the son of Steve and Roxanne Ellingboe.

He plans to attend Oregon State University, where he wants to major in engineering.

“I’ve always had my sights set on engineering,” he said. “One of my favorite classes was an AutoCad drafting and design class I took through LBCC. My grandpa was an engineer and that kind of sparked my interest.”

In high school he played golf for two years and football as a freshman.

He was also “heavily involved” in the youth group at First Baptist Church in Lebanon. During the past summers he has worked at Camp Tadmor, where his family lives and his father works.

He plans to work this summer at OSU’s Challenge high ropes course, which he has experience in from his work at Tadmor, which also has a high ropes course.

“I love high ropes challenge courses,” he said.

Ellingboe said he hopes to apply his engineering degree to the outdoor adventure industry, in which he would like to design rock climbing equipment.

His advice to the freshmen: “Stay on top of your work. Don’t wait till the last minute. It never really works out in the end.”

Salutatorian Celena Westfall

Westfall, 18, is the daughter of Robert and Christine Westfall.

She plans to take certified nursing assistant classes through Samaritan Health Services this summer, then study nursing at LBCC.

She said her favorite subject in high school has been Spanish.

“I took it all four years,” Westfall said. “It is just interesting to be able to communicate with other people. I liked the atmosphere in Mrs. McHill’s class. She’s really funny.”

She traveled to Europe last summer with McHill and four other girls, where she got to try out her language skills in Spain.

In high school she has also been involved in Amnesty International, the Youth Watershed Council, and the yearbook and newspaper €“ the latter as a sophomore.

She also has volunteered the last two summers at the Oregon Jamboree, working on the ice crew one year and in a concession stand the next.

Her advice to those who come behind her: “Just do the work because, honestly, most of it is not that hard. As long as you get it done, everything will be fine.”