For the second year in a row, Commencement was held on the new all-weather turf football field. The elements cooperated as 326 seniors received their diplomas in ceremonies presided over by principal Cynthia Richardson. Richardson announced that the class of 2014 had received over $1 million in scholarships!
Valedictorians (perfect 4.0 GPA in honors and Advanced Placement classes) were Ericka Dishion, Rachel Rodecap, SanJuana Torres, and Liliana Watts. Salutatorians (only one B) were Brooke Bolen, Valistha Dhevaphalin, Ana Escobido-Barraza, Megan Jantzi, and Juana Lopez Duran.
Outstanding speeches were given by seniors Rachel Rodecap and Elisha-Jamnia Crisanto (the latter in front left of "Alma Mater" photo below).
JROTC presents colors Principal Cynthia Richardson (center)
V. P. Rolland Hayden Final "Alma Mater"
Viking Association Scholarships
The Alumni and Friends Association annually presents scholarships to two seniors. The awards are named in honor of Salem High School graduates Rep. Edith Green and Sen. Mark O. Hatfield.
Kaelia Neal Riley Knebes
(with principal Cynthia Richardson and Viking Association Pres. Steve Chambers)
Edith Starrett Green graduated from Salem High in 1927, taught school in Salem, did radio work, then served as a leader of the Oregon Education Association. She served in the U. S. House of Representatives from 1955-1973. While there, she led the passage of the Title IX legislation, which granted women equality in education, including sports. She is an inaugural member of the North Salem Hall of Fame. This scholarship is for $1000 and is awarded to a senior scholar-athlete.
The winner of the Green Scholarship this year is Kaelia Neal. Kaelia was enrolled in all Honors and AP courses, earning a 3.67 GPA. She competed in both track and cross country, serving as captain in both sports three years. She was a State qualifier in cross country in 2011 and 2012, garnering 1st team All-Conference honors in 2011, and 2nd team in 2012. She also qualified for State in track in 2012 and 2014. She ran the 4th fastest 800 meter time in school history this spring. Kaelia was also a participant in Leadership Youth through the Salem Chamber of Commerce. She will attend Linfield College in the Fall and major in journalism.
Mark O. Hatfield graduated in 1940, served in World War II, became a law professor at Willamette University, a State Legislator, Oregon's Secretary of State, then governor, and finally a 5-term United States Senator. Sen. Hatfield is also an inaugural member of the North Salem Hall of Fame. This scholarship is also designated as being $1000, but additional donations from Antoinette Hatfield and an anonymous friend in the late senator's memory boosts the award to $2000. The winner of this scholarship is chosen on the basis of four characteristics Sen. Hatfield exemplified: scholarship, leadership, character, and service.
Our recipient this year is Riley Knebes. Riley has a 3.85 GPA in Honors and AP classes, is a member of National Honor Society, and has played for four years in the Wind Ensemble and Jazz Band. She was ASB secretary and served on the Prom committee. She was elected Homecoming Queen. In addition, she is involved in church activities and a variety of community service projects. Competing in both cross country and track, she was elected captain for three years for both teams. Known for her strong work ethic and determination, she is a 7-time Central Valley Conference champion in track, a school and conference record holder in hurdles, and was State Champion this spring in the 300 meter hurdles in the 5th fastest time in state history. The Statesman Journal newspaper chose her as the most outstanding track athlete in the mid-Willamette Valley. Riley will be attending the University of New Haven in Connecticut next fall to study environmental science.