The Odessa Record -

2019 grads earn scholarships worth $127,304

 

The 14 Odessa High School graduates of 2019 received their diplomas Saturday morning at commencement in the gymnasium. Though a relatively small group, these students collectively earned $127,304 in scholarships to pursue higher education.

As guests entered the gym and found their seats, the Odessa Junior/Senior High School Band under the direction of music instructor Sam Harder played for their enjoyment. At 11 a.m. sharp, the band broke into the processional, and the graduates entered down the center aisle to their seating area next to the stage. Harder played the Star Spangled Banner as a piano solo prior to the beginning of the program.

School principal Jamie Nelson introduced the class salutatorian Megan Shafer and valedictorian Tori Weishaar, and each delivered a speech of her own composition. (Both speeches are included in this issue on page 5.)

Two special awards for citizenship are presented each year by the school faculty. The 2019 plaques for citizenship went to Theron Schlomer and Kassidy Crossley.

A video retrospective of the seniors' lives from early childhood to the present had been created by Brenna Carstensen, Kassidy Crossley and Tori Weishaar. Always a presentation that the audience looks forward to, the video was enjoyed by all.

As another long-standing tradition in honor of the graduates, three faculty members (Larry Moffet, guitar and lead singer; Jeff Wehr, guitar, drums and vocals; and special guest Sam Harder, keyboard and vocals) performed a song they wrote and composed entitled "Live Well." After the song, the seniors handed out orange or white roses and shared hugs to thank family and friends who had helped them make their way through to graduation.

Guidance counselor Kimberly Ryan announced the names of three students who had donated their time outside of school hours to projects benefiting the community. Hours are collected between seventh grade and senior year. A total of 200 hours of community service qualifies a senior to receive an orange community service cord to be worn at graduation.

Three students achieve that goal and earned their cords: Tori Weishaar with 223 hours, Kassidy Crossley with 250 hours and Megan Shafer with 318 hours.

Ryan then announced the scholarship winners after thanking the community organizations, families and individuals providing these scholarship opportunities.

Brenna Carstensen received a total of $9,600: $500 from HighLine Grain Growers, $600 from Rocky Coulee Brewing and the Stumpjumpers Motorcycle Club, a $1,000 Experience WSU scholarship, $1,000 from the Odessa Alumni Association, $1,500 from the Odessa Tiger Booster Club and a $5,000 Washington Masonic Charities Legacy Scholarship.

Justin Reninger received a $501 College Bound Scholarship.

Kassidy Crossley received a total of $11,287.50: $450 from the Odessa Healthcare Foundation, $500 from the Daughters of the America Revolution, a $500 Anna Marie Amende Korobkin scholarship, $500 from the Pastor Tim Hauge Memorial Fund, $600 from the Odessa Fire Department, $600 from Rocky Coulee/Stumpjumpers, a $1,000 Scheer Senior Scholarship, $1,000 from the Booster Club, $1,000 from the Alumni Association, a $1,000 Dr. Eugene Kosey (FBLA) scholarship, a $1,000 Experience WSU scholarship, a $1,137.50 Martha Hall scholarship, a $2,000 Bessie & Godfrey Thompson scholarship.

Megan Shafer received a total of $14,966: a $250 Gordon & Virginia Neale Scholarship, $600 from the Odessa Fire Department and $14,116 from the University of Idaho under the Western Undergraduate Exchange program.

Theron Schlomer received a $500 Coach Kramer Memorial scholarship and a $1,000 Poe Senior Scholarship.

Tori Weishaar received a total of $89,450 in scholarships: $450 from the Odessa Healthcare Foundation, $500 from HighLine Grain Growers, a $1,000 Ritzville Warehouse Scholarship, $1,000 from the Grange Insurance Association, $1,000 from the Odessa Alumni Association, $2,500 from Northwest Farm Credit Service and $21K/year for four years for a total of $84,000 to attend Baylor University in Waco, Texas on a President's Gold Scholarship.

Finally, it was time for awarding of the diplomas. School superintendent Dan Read announced, "On behalf of the Odessa School Board Directors, let it be recognized that the students who walk before you today, have met all the graduation requirements set forth by the state of Washington and as outlined in the Odessa School District policy." School board chair Ed Deife and vice chair Heather Valverde then handed out the diplomas.

 

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