The Petersburg High School graduation will be held tonight, Tuesday May 31st in the school’s gym. KFSK Intern Abbey Collins stopped by the school last week to talk to some of the students about their plans after high school.
The last day of school for Petersburg High School seniors was last Wednesday. Around lunchtime, students sat around tables in the commons area eating their lunch and chatting. Thirty students will graduate this year. 18-year-old Maura Moyer is one of them and she’s been preparing for the big day.
“I’m really excited for the upcoming graduation on but also really nervous because it’s a time where you’re leaving everybody and going off to school and finally on your own,” says Moyer.
Moyer moved to Petersburg from Ketchikan two years ago and after graduation she’s heading south for college.
“I’m going to go to Bellingham, Washington. Going to Whatcom Community for psychology,” she says.
Jeremy Randrup will be leaving for Washington, too. He also knows what he wants to study next.
“My plan after high school is to go to Whitworth University in Spokane where I’ll be studying criminal justice,” says Randrup.
For Ethan Bryner, graduation also means a new beginning.
“I’m super excited really to just kind of get on,” he says, “I mean, high school’s been great but I’m excited to move on to college and the next step of my life — freedom.”
Bryner says he’s ready for college. He’s off for Idaho, to Boise State University.
“I feel like PHS has actually really prepared us students for life in college because of how independent we have to be on sports trips and any other school activity trips,” says Bryner. “You have to learn how to manage money and just really be on your own. So I think it’s done a really good job preparing us for life in general.”
Like Bryner, Kelly Engell is going to college at Boise State. She says she’s feeling sad to leave, but excited for this new opportunity.
“I’d like to thank all the teachers and the people that have helped us along the way and the community for supporting us in all out fundraisers and activities,” says Engell.
As the students prepare to leave school, the high school staff is getting ready too. I caught up with Principal Rick Dormer in his office where he told me a little bit about this year’s graduates.
“I feel that they’re maybe a quieter personality wise of a class but not in their actions,” says Dormer, “And I’m not just talking state championship or second place basketball, but so many things of leaving this impression of being well liked and being well respected. And that’s across the board, all the way across the class. Great kids.”
Graduation is something the staff goes through every year. Nonetheless, Dormer says it’s hard to see them go.
“It really truly is emotional for the staff because they’ve invested a lot of time. And they know their families. That’s what’s so great about Petersburg is we know their families. We know their parents, we know their grandparents,” Dormer says. “And to feel like we’re losing that connection with them even though we’re all very very excited that they’re going on to great other things.”
With graduation approaching, Dormer encourages everyone around town to support the grads.
“If you’re a community member or even just a staff member, whatever, please give these kids a hug, shake their hand or whatever and tell them congratulations because they really deserve it,” says Dormer.
Away from school activities, seniors say they also made time to follow tradition and paint their names on “the dip” out the road on Mitkof Highway.