Whittell High graduates a high-achieving class | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Whittell High graduates a high-achieving class

William Ferchland

Dan Thrift / Tahoe Daily Tribune / Meri Johnson is congratulated Friday during commencement exercises at George Whittell High School.

ZEPHYR COVE – As the 45 graduating Whittell High School students waited in line before making their grand entrance on the school’s football field, Sarah Ingenluyff was close to tears.

Holly Connelly’s feet, clad in red Ann Marino shoes to match her gown, were in pain as she went for style over comfort.

And a few boys weren’t wearing any shoes and were rumored to be only wearing their cap and gown.

Through inside and not-so-subtle jokes, the Class of 2006 at Whittell was described as fun-loving, eccentric yet high-achieving in both sports and academia.

Nineteen of the students had high enough grades to wear white ribbons denoting their membership to the National Honor Society. Thirty-three received Nevada’s Millennium Scholarship, designed to keep intelligent students in the state’s colleges in hopes they will stay in Nevada. Sixteen were headed to University of Nevada, Reno. Five had goals to be an engineer. One student, Caleb Picker, set a goal of studying theoretical physics.

The valedictorian, Justin Peel, is a National Merit Scholarship winner.

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In addition, the classes helped the school become only one of five in the state to earn “exemplary” status in its performance on standardized tests.

The five student speeches had the usual words of reflections and aspirations. One quoted a Pink Floyd song. Danielle Day opened her speech with a prayer.

“Don’t settle,” said co-salutatorian Matthew Andrew. “Nothing is ever good enough.”

“I’d say that this class has proven they can handle academic rigor like no other I know can,” Peel said.

Superintendent John Soderman, who gave his last graduation speech since he’ll be retiring, elicited some chuckles from the crowd seated mostly on the home bleachers.

“These people are going to go on and make a name for themselves,” he said.

Soderman proceeded to highlight a few student accomplishments. Tara Scaduto, who plans to be an orthodontist and begin her undergraduate studies in Reno, was mentioned because of the number of scholarships she received.

“She probably has enough (money) to buy a little country and run it for a career,” Soderman said.

Cody Harrington was also named by Soderman, who was envious of the abilities of the student headed to Cal Poly State University to study civil engineering.

“He shot a 79 at Edgewood (Golf Course),” Soderman said.

After Soderman finished his speech, the diplomas were handed out, the tassels turned, the caps thrown. Some juniors were already promoting the Class of 2007 by writing the year on their cars.

But if the class’s off-kilter motto of “Carpe Nocten” (seize the night) is any indication, members of the Class of 2006 will not be forgotten any time soon.

“I’m just really stoked,” said Elliott Shaw. “I’m excited to be here because it’s been a fun time.”

Whittell High School 2006 graduates

Daniel Louis Allen

Matthew Raymond Andrew

Sarah Corina Angstadt

Jeremy Daniel Bahr Worley

Kristina Elizabeth Betts

Casey Catherine Brumbach

Joseph Kyke Brun

Holly Marissa Connelly

Christopher Evan Craig

Danielle May Daly

Sebastian Alejandro Diaz Araya

Rachelle Renee Faedi

Cody Conroy Harrington

Hannah Anderson Harris

Jasmine Marie Herrera

Sarah Marie Ingenluyff

Meri Alys Johnson

Justin Roy Jordon

Katrina Marie Kacirek

Kristin Marie Kline

Derek Kristoffer Kolstad

Kathryn Anne Komorowski

Brittay Jane Lee

Timothy William Lipovsky

Jayme Kathryn Lowe

John Edward MacDonald

Ian David MacKelvie

Melinda Lorin Massey

Samantha Hernandez Mata

Stewart Conrad Milaeger

Robert Brian Peat

Justin Halliday Peel

Caleb Jordan Picker

Michael Adam Picker

Shawn Ryan Reed

Christina Marie Richardson

David Carmillo Sabistina

Tara Ann Louise Scaduto

David Carmillo Sabistina

Johnathan Randall Shields

Nicolas Alexander Teply

Spencer Cole Thomas

Gregory John Tindle

Maria Ruth Tracy

Zachary Derry Witt