Santa Fe Trail High School sends 78 graduates out to blaze new trails

Santa Fe Trail High School class of 2016. Photo by Brad Shaffer, All Sports Digital.

With appropriate pomp and circumstance, Santa Fe Trail High School graduated 78 seniors Saturday, May 7, 2016, sending them out to go “where there is not path and leave a trail,” according to the class’ motto by Ralph Waldo Emerson.

SFTHS salutatorian Morgan Makowski encouraged her classmates to remember those who helped them arrive at their destination and to remember home: “Today our path leads us away from Santa Fe Trail High School. Away from the familiar and into the unknown. There will be many obstacles in the path along the way and choices will have to be made. If in the years to follow, you somehow get lost along the way, come back home.”

SFTHS valedictorian Brooke Preston told the graduates to realize what they have before moving on in life: “My only hope for the next step in my life is to learn from this one – to not rush through it as fast as I possibly can. Instead of always looking forward to the next best thing, I’ll be sure to appreciate where I’m at in the moment, because the truth is, we knew what we had – we just thought we’d never lose it.”

Presenting the class for graduation was Keith Johnson, SFTHS administrative assistant, with recognition of the class by Randy Boudeman, USD 434 Board of Education president. SFTHS Principal Patrick Graham announced the graduates as USD 434 Board of Education members Zac Anshutz, Randy Boudeman, Amy Crotinger, Michele Ferris, and Jason Supple, and past board member Dean Tucker presented diplomas. Senior class sponsors were Connie Lindell and Heather Hastings.

Santa Fe Trail High School’s 2016 graduates are: Samantha Jean Abendroth, Garrett Dean Adkins, Colton Joseph Anderson, Joshua Adam Anguish, Allison Nicole Barr, Morgan Leigh Boothby, Trevor Pat Boudeman, Trey Styles Cipolla, Alexandria Nicole Claycomb, Seth Alan Coltrane, Daniel Joseph Peter Courtwright, Shea Nicole Cremeen, Haley Ayauna Mae Cress, Breann Davin Davis, Ethan Phillip Dean, Zachary Dean DeShazer, Alexandria Skye Dunnaway, Jessica Renee Feliciano, Jennifer Kay Ferris, Roslind Renee Finlay, Suzanne Dakota Forbes, Gabriel Lee Forrestt, Nathan Bradley Gerisch, Caleb Joseph Greene, McKynley Alexandra Gustin, Bailey Lane Ham, Cody James Hastings, Brian Clayton Hawkins, Paul Francis Holt, Kyle Edward Hug, Jordyn Nicole Johnson, Keelie Synclare Johnson, Nicolas William Kline, Colin John Koger, Brady William Kuermaier, Kirk James Lawrence, Olivia Victoria Leonard, Joshua Dayton Long, Wyatt Gene Lyda, Calvary Robert Lyle, Morgan LeeAnn Makowski, Kurstin Ann Rescheal Masters, Baylie Elizabeth Maxwell, Trenton Duane May, Rachael Leah McCormick, Samantha Marie McCoy, De’Andre Nikolas McFreen, Samantha Josephine McGoyne, Matthew Denzil McPherson, Tommaso Mira, Brent Thomas Newton, Anastasia Faye Nottingham, William Jose Pagan, Dylon Wesley Pitts, Brooke Danielle Preston, Xavier Corleon Ray, Travis Jacob Reynolds, Dustin Andrew Rhoades, Sean Bradley Ridgeway, Candace Dawn Roberts, Bailee Tate Robertson, Amanda Diane Schmutz, Alex Hein Shatswell, Kris Joseph Shaver, Caleb Wade Simpson, Jordan Cordell Smith, Brandon Curtis Stahel, Carley Ann Stone, Bo Allen Tidball, Zachary Brian Tompkins, Jordan Renea Trego, Tanna Marie Trout, Parker Lane Vice, Anna Vrtev, Caleb Michael Walshire, Collin James Watkins, Austen Lee Wolfe, Peyton Breann Workman.


Santa Fe Trail Class of 2016 Scholarship Recipients

  • SFT Educational Association Scholarship – Morgan Makowski
  • Student Council Scholarships – Cody Hastings, Kyle Hug Keelie Johnson, Caleb Simpson, Brandon Stahel, Parker Vice, Peyton Workman
  • Sons of American Legion Scholarship – Seth Coltrane
  • Alfred D. Herlan Golf Scholarships – Peyton Workman, Kyle Hug
  • Betty Lee Memorial Scholarships – Kurstin Masters, Seth Coltrane
  • National Honor Society Scholarships – Brooke Preston, Rachael McCormick
  • Lynch Memorial Scholarships – Kyle Hug, Cody Hastings
  • Overbrook Fidelis Club Scholarship – Keelie Johnson
  • Scranton Lions Club Scholarship – Peyton Workman
  • First Security Bank of Overbrook – Samantha Abendroth
  • Overbrook Masonic Lodge Band Scholarship – Morgan Makowski, Roslind Finlay
  • The Dr. James L. Ruble Jr., Kansas State Bank Scholarships – Anastasia Nottingham, Brooke Preston
  • The Robert Bardsley Memorial Scholarship – Peyton Workman
  • Carbondale Lion’s Club Scholarship – Brooke Preston, Kurstin Masters
  • SFT Foundation Scholarships:
  • Morris and Flossie Krouse-Waller-American Legion Scholarships – Brooke Preston, Cody Hastings
  • Dean Tucker Family Scholarships – Cody Hastings, Seth Coltrane
  • Sarah (King) Graham Memorial Scholarship – Brandon Stahel
  • Leslie Wurdeman Riner Memorial Scholarship – Morgan Makowski
  • Overbook Family Dentistry Scholarship – Brandon Stahel
  • The Santa Fe Trail Band Booster Scholarship – Samantha Abendroth
  • Overbrook Rotary Outstanding Boy and Girl nominees – Seth Coltrane, Cody Hastings, Kyle Hug, Keelie Johnson, Morgan Makowski, Peyton Workman
  • State of Kansas Scholars – Brooke Preston, Dustin Rhoades
  • Seniors completing over 80 community service hours: Anna Nottingham,102; Parker Vice, 256.5; Roslind Finlay, 135.75; Brandon Stahel, 257; Skye Dunnaway, 153; Kurstin Masters , 546.5.

“Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” Ralph Waldo Emerson


Salutatorian and Valedictorian Speeches

By SFTHS 2016 Salutatorian Morgan Makowski

Good morning Board of Education, family, friends, faculty, and fellow graduates,

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Morgan Makowski takes a selfie of the 2016 graduating class. Photo by Brad Shaffer, All Sports Digital.

Today, as we find ourselves as seniors on the brink of graduation, I ask all of you to remember back to August of 2012, when we first walked into Santa Fe Trail High School as freshmen. We had no way of knowing in what condition we would be sitting here on this day. From that time to now, we have made unexpected friendships. We have faced obstacles that threatened to crush us, laughed until we cried, became professional strategic procrastinators, overslept, under slept, and then stayed up all night just to do it all over again. By being here today, it is clear that all of our hard work has paid off.

On the way our lives were touched by amazing friends, inspirational teachers, and supportive family. As time passed, we were shaped into the people we are today, our own unique personalities who are now moving on with our lives to bigger and better things. As excited as I am for the next chapter of my life, there are a few things I’m really going to miss. There are little thing like Mr. Schmidt signing the ceiling tile on his last day freshmen year, to Mr. Hug yelling “Snow day tomorrow!” and watching all the confused faces because it was only October and there was no way there could be a chance for snow. And then laughing as you slowly realized that it was a Friday. Our school is also very helpful and caring. Whether it was NHS helping with the Harvesters Food Drive, or Mr. Quilling giving out free Chihuahuas in California.

I’m also going to miss the history I share with my classmates. I’ve been with some of my fellow graduates since preschool and others since sixth grade. I want to take a moment to remember those who started our journey with us but weren’t able to finish it by our side. All the memories and moments we’ve shared over the years will never be erased, but I will miss being able to see those I share them with on a regular basis. I’ve made many great friends throughout high school.
With social media it’s easy to stay in touch after graduation but it won’t be the same. The closeness and bonds will fade and we will make new friends. But I will forever treasure my childhood friends.

There are a few things I wish for my class, and a few things 1 learned these past four years. I want everybody to look to your right … look to your left …  and look behind you. Find your family, friends, and teachers, take it all in. These are the people who’ve supported you, helped you, and loved you and they’ve always wanted the best for you. I encourage every one of you to go out and get yourself a support system. Whatever you choose to do with your life, surround yourself with positive people who inspire you, motivate you, and challenge you. Find people who will pick you up continuously after you fall. A large part of arriving at our destination is not simply knowing what road to take; it is knowing how to best travel that road. I inspire you Class of 2016 to not only follow the opportunities available to you, but to follow your heart and pursue a cause of particular importance to you.

Instead of following the road of past generations and graduating classes. I challenge you all to make your own road and travel that road the best you can. The risks are always present, but the battle always makes the win so much sweeter. If you believe you can achieve anything, and don’t allow others to tell you differently, what you are capable of achieving is genuinely amazing.

“Challenges are what makes life interesting, and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.” So let’s make life meaningful and overcome a challenge right now. (Pulls out selfie stick and takes class photo.) “Say cheese Class of 2016!”

Today our path leads us away from Santa Fe Trail High School. Away from the familiar and into the unknown. There will be many obstacles in the path along the way and choices will have to be made. If in the years to follow, you somehow get lost along the way, come back home.

Remember what it felt like to be here right now in this moment. Remember what it felt like to have your family and friends look down at you from the stands and how happy they were for you. This is where it all begins. Right here, right now. Congratulations Class of 2016. We did it!


By SFTHS 2016 Valedictorian Brooke Preston

“You don’t know what you have until it’s gone.”

We have all heard this saying, and we have all experienced its meaning, yet we continue to make the same mistake. From the time we are able to comprehend the world around us, we begin rushing on to the next big step, whatever it may be. In preschool, we couldn’t wait to get to elementary school. From elementary school, we eagerly anticipated middle school. Then, in middle school, we counted down the days to high school.

Now we’re at the very end of our time here, but it doesn’t feel quite the same as moving on did before. Instead of pure relief and joy of making it to the next level, there’s something dampening the experience. Graduating creates one of the most contradictory feelings; it combines sheer happiness with the hollow solemnness of finality.

All of the complaining about how freezing it is in the school, how the freshman need to stand somewhere other than the middle of the hallway, how the lunches need serious improvement, and how we just can’t wait to get out of here, all become almost endearing when actually faced with the end.

It wasn’t until the last month here that I began slowing down, really taking in all that I would be losing. I listened to crashing locker doors, loud chatter in the hallways, Mr. Hug yelling “It’s meatloaf Wednesday!” and some of Johnson’s classic cheesy jokes. Most importantly, however, I genuinely listened to everything my friends had to say. Because I knew that in a month, we’ll never be as close as we are right now.

The people you’ve watched grow up will go their own ways and you may never see them again. You may never have the same close relationships with another teacher that you have received here at Santa Fe Trail. I realized what I had before I lost it, but not enough before to fully enjoy it. The next few years will be some of the best of our lives.
It’s a sad truth that a lot our high school friendships will wither, but in the next few years, we’ll meet more that will likely be around for the rest of our lives. We’ll move on to colleges, workforces, specialized training, or the military, where we’ll be introduced to new people that share the same future goals. We’ll watch these new faces grow, too, just in a different sense.

My only hope for the next step in my life is to learn from this one – to not rush through it as fast as I possibly can. Instead of always looking forward to the next best thing, I’ll be sure to appreciate where I’m at in the moment, because the truth is, we knew what we had – we just thought we’d never lose it.

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Throwing hats in the air, Santa Fe Trail High School’s 2016 graduates prepare to head down new paths in life. Photo by Brad Shaffer, All Sports Digital.


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