The Seward Phoenix Log - News of the Eastern Kenai Peninsula since 1966

By Wolfgang Kurtz
LOG Editor 

Community supports SHS graduates


Wolfgang Kurtz | The Seward Phoenix Log

Honors students gathered on stage at last week’s academic and athletics awards at Seward High School. Classmates taking a bow included Tessa Kelly Adelmann, Hayden Curtis Gates Beard, Jeffery Allen Buchanan, Laura Marie Dyer, Veroneeka Kathleen Erchinger, Matthew Gordon Haddow, Brianna Marie Honebein, Miles Joseph Knotek, Lindsey Linnea Kromrey, Gretchen Rae Lindquist, Jaz Alden Odhner, Jonathan Sven Thomassen and Jesse Dean Wolfe.

The 2013 graduating class of Seward High School received almost $250,000 in scholarship funds which, according to SHS Principal Trevan Walker, is a testament to the support that the Seward community gives to its youth. At the presentation of Academic and Athletics Awards last weeks, Walker was busy with the pencil as scholarship after scholarship awarded on the SHS stage added to his starting total. All told, after over 78 envelopes were distributed to students, the evening’s tally stood at over $80,000 with over 75 percent from local contributors.

Noting the prevalence of repeat visitors to the stage, fellow presenter Kim Reierson explained that applying for a scholarship is a prerequisite for receiving one. Given the large contingent of meritorious students among the graduating class, there likely could have been a wider distribution of scholarships. However, Reierson dropped the punch line that if a student doesn’t apply for a scholarship, they definitely won’t get one. If every student in the graduating class had applied for and received an equal amount of the total scholarships awarded, each would have been granted over $6,000.

Although the scholarship presentations were a prominent feature of the evening’s program, academic and athletic accomplishments were recognized as well. Almost a third of the graduating class took the stage as members of the National Honor Society and several students were recognized by national and local organizations. Lindsey Kromrey was announced as the Masonic Outstanding Student of the Year, Hayden Beard took the Spirit of Youth Award and the duo of Lastan Williams and Audrey Atwood were recognized through the Seeds of Faith Pre-school.

The distinctions didn’t all go the graduating class as the event recognized individual and group accomplishments for the Seward High School student body as a whole. The Community Service Award was presented to Lastan Williams and Christian Tofson. However, the Seahawk Booster Club recognized graduates Tessa Adelmann and Jeff Buchanan as well as sports activist Grampy Berry as Fan of the Year.

The teaching staff traded off awards in academic achievement with mathematics spotlighted by a host of accolades including Miles Knotek for Diligence and Michael Marshall for Most Improved. Jesse Wolfe was singled out for Positive Math Attitude and Lindsey Kromrey was Most Outstanding while Ruth Powell and Peter Mow took a bow for Science in Anatomy and all around scientific proficiency, respectively.

The awards were capped off by recognition of Tessa Adelmann and Miles Knotek as Athlete and Scholar Athlete of the Year. The Seahawk Citizenship Award went to Joey Hettick, a a culmination of six years of growth that Walker had considerable perspective on. As Walker remarked, the majority of students in this graduating class, including Hettick, had been with him since grade 7, as he had been principal at Seward Middle School, moving up to the high school along with the present graduates.

Walker also took some time in his concluding remarks to emphasize the contributions that the majority of the student body had made over the school year to co-curricular activities. From the 178 students at SHS there were 230 cumulative participants among 11 Varsity sports for which Seward had hosted 37 home events. Sami King, athletics director, had organized 178 student activity trips for all three Seward schools to locations between the cardinal points of Fairbanks, Homer and Valdez.

140 students had engaged in pursuits such as Drama, Music and Student Council for an overall total of 363 students involved in school activities representing a 204 percent participation level. Walker remarked that he found the school spirit and engagement in education and activities remarkable and attributed a good portion of that to the support from teachers, parents and the community. The balance of the credit went to the students. Naturally.


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