Nine students named to lead June 7 SHHS graduation exercises

Scott Swanson

Sweet Home High School has announced eight valedictorians and one salutatorian to lead the Class of 2019 graduation ceremonies on June 7.

The valedictorians, Chase Boyd, Sarah Hewitt, Sydney Hooley, Alisha Isabell, Austin Olin, Ella Parker, Madelaine (Maddy) Peeks, and Kennedi Waldrop, all are finishing high school with 4.00 GPAs.

Salutatorian Lace-Anna Shiffert finishes with a 3.99 GPA, thanks to a single B+, she said.

Chase Boyd

Boyd, 18, is the son of Laurie and Brett Boyd. He has a younger sister, Brenna.

During high school his activities have included Key-Interact Club, the city Youth Advisory Council, South Santiam Youth Watershed Council, National Honor Society and the Oregon History Club, which he co-founded as a ninth-grader, which keeps him active at East Linn Museum.

He plans to major in civil engineering at Montana State University, with a focus on city planning, he said.

He said his favorite memory of high school is the extracurricular activities – “all the stuff I did outside of class.”

Asked what he would tell incoming freshmen about how to be successful in high school, Boyd said: “Get all the classes you hate out of the way first.”

Sarah Hewitt

Hewitt, 17, is the daughter of Bo and Pam Hewitt.

She has an older sister, Elea and one who is younger, Malia.

During high school her activities have included Key-Interact Club, Oregon Youth Legislative Initiative for Climate Justice, swimming, track and field, and was vice president of the Youth Advisory Council and co-cirector of the South Santiam Youth Watershed Council.

She plans to attend U.C. Berkeley, majoring in civil engineering with a focus on sustainable design.

Her favorite memory from high school, she said, has been winning three state championships – the first in school history – with the girls swimming team. She is the only swimmer to have been involved in winning all three titles.

Oh, and there were also the shenanigans in Desktop class.

Hewitt’s advice to incoming freshmen: “Take every opportunity that comes your way.”

Sydney Hooley

Hooley, 17, is the daughter of Randy and Apreil Hooley.

She has a younger sister, Rylie.

During high school her activities have included Sportsman’s Holiday Court – for which she was named Miss Congeniality, National Honor Society, Key-Interact Club, Drama Club and as an advertising sales representative for the school newspaper and yearbook.

She played leading roles in a number of stage productions during high school and she said her favority memory is “Pride and Prejudice.”

“I felt so close to all the class,” she said. “I felt so solid. Everybody knew their lines.”

She also has fond recollections of Desktop class “shenanigans.”

Following high school she plans to attend Linn-Benton Community College to pursue a career as a medical assistant.

Her advice to incoming freshmen, which she said was passed on to her by a friend at Lebanon High School: “Don’t date your freshman and sophomore years.”

Alisha Isabell

Isabell, 18, is the daughter of Christine Isabell and Johnie Ray Isabell III.

She has an older sister, Michelle Isabell, and an older brother, Johnie Ray Isabell IV.

During high school her activities have included South Santiam Youth Watershed Council, pep and Concert Band, Key-Interact Club and National Honor Society.

She plans to study creative writing at Linn-Benton Community College.

Her favorite experience during high school was “being able to participate in the student store.”

Her advice to incoming freshmen: “Stress is temporary, but memories are forever.”

Austin Olin

Olin, 18, is the son of Steve and Tracy Olin.

He has an older sister, Alex.

During high school his activities have included Key-Interact Club, National Honor Society, and competing in football, baseball and wrestling.

He plans to attend Western Oregon University to major in political science with a minor in business, then attend the Willamette School of Law.

His favorite memory of high school is finishing fourth in the regional championships in wrestling this year, his first as a high-schooler in the sport, which qualified him for the state tournament. He also enjoyed the stay at the hotel during the Oregon Classic wrestling tournament in Redmond: “That was super fun.”

His advice to incoming freshmen: “Strive for perfection in everything you do. Adjust your goals for perfection, even though you probably won’t ever achieve it.”

Ella Parker

Parker, 17, is the daughter of Jeff and Jodi Parker.

She has three siblings, Lilly and Wesley, who are older, and Grace.

During high school her activities have included four years as a member of the Art Club, Key-Interact Club, and the swim team. She was an academic All-American and earned an Honors Diploma.

She plans to attend LBCC to pursue multimedia art and animation.

Her best memory from high school is, as a sophomore, watching the girls swimming team win state “by less than a tenth of a second” for its first-ever championship.

She also enjoyed doing the Husky News as a member of Leadership class – her fellow class leaders noted that she animated her announcements.

Her advice to incoming freshmen: “Don’t overthink things.”

Madelaine (Maddy) Peeks

Peeks, 18, is the daughter of Colleen Wiley and Brady Peeks, and stepmom Sandi Mickey.

She has two stepbrothers, Caleb and Dimitri Mickey.

During high school her activities have included writing for the school newspaper and taking pictures for the yearbook, co-founding the History Club, volunteering at the East Linn Museum and Key-Interact Club.

She plans to attend Honors College at Oregon State University, majoring in agricultural sciences on a pre-veterinary track, then attend the veterinary school at OSU.

Her best memory from high school has been going whitewater rafting with her Outdoor PE class and “the day someone brought a goat to school.”

Peek’s advice to incoming freshmen: “Most people don’t figure themselves out till later and that’s OK. Pet all the friendly dogs that you meet.”

Added Hooley: “It will make it better.”

Kennedi Waldrop

Waldrop, 17, is the daughter of Dawn and Andy Waldrop. She has a younger brother, Tanner.

During high school her activities have included Key-Interact Club, National Honor Society, in basketball – as captain this year, track and field (in which she barely missed qualifying for the state championships in the discus with a third-place finish at the district championships in her senior – and only year in track), and serving as an Outdoor School counselor.

She plans to attend Oregon State University and major in biology on a pre-veterinary medicine track, then move on to veterinary school, also at OSU.

Her favorite high school memory is “literally anything in Miss Snyder’s (biology) class – Lifesaver fights, dissecting fish – pretty much anything.”

Her advice to incoming freshmen: “Be involved your freshman year and throughout. Just spend time with your classmates. Relationships count.”

Lace-Anna Shiffert

Shiffert, 17, is the daughter of Misti and Luke Shiffert. She has an older brother, Lucas.

During high school, her activities have included the Forestry Club, National Honor Society, track and field, and summer vacation Bible schools.

She plans to dual-enroll at LBCC and OSU to pursue a forestry/civil engineering degree.

Her best memory of high school is “being part of my brother’s senior year, getting to help him out and watch him graduate.”

Shiffert’s advice to incoming freshmen: “Don’t forget to look up from your phones and devices and just live in the moment and have fun.”

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