County’s first 2014 graduates accept diplomas Saturday at Santa Fe Trail High School

The 2014 senior class of Santa Fe Trail High School graduated Saturday afternoon.

 

It was with excitement and somberness that Santa Fe Trail High School graduates accepted their diplomas during the first of Osage County’s 2014 graduation ceremonies Saturday afternoon. Santa Fe High School Assistant Principal Patrick Graham announced this year’s SFTHS graduates in the absence of David Swaim, Santa Fe High School principal, who passed away in March after 17 years of service to the school.

The SFT Band opened the processional with Pomp and Circumstance, and friends and family of graduates were welcomed by Jessica Abendroth, student council president. With a serenade by the SFT Choraliers, singing “Lean on Me”, Abendroth introduced salutatorian Shelby Dahl and valedictorian Erin Brady, who each gave an address (see below).

With the advice of Ralph Waldo Emerson as the class of 2014’s motto – “Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail” – the following 85 SFTHS graduates blazed a trail that led to presentation of their diplomas by members of the USD 434 Board of Education: Jessica Rose Abendroth *+, Aaron Scott Ackerman, Skyler Steven Alejos, Trey Alejos, Brooke Danielle Allen ~, Cole Thomas Baker, Jesse Aaron Baker #, Cody Wayne Barr, Briahna Rachelle Beckman, Evan Lane Blankinship, Mackenzie Aaron Kyle Bond, Erin Elizabeth Brady *+, Destiny Renee Bruno *+, Dominic Michael Capra, Apryl Rae Danielle Corley, Shelby Marie Dahl *+, Daytona Raechelle DaPrato, Kelley Ann Ferris, Veronica Anne Forbes, William Wesley Foster, Dawn Renee Funk #, Alex Gibbs, Adrienne Nadaline Graika #, Taylor Greene #, Mika Jane Loree Hale, Jennifer Marie Hall, Kiley Jenea Hall #, Madison Jean-Marie Hastings #, Ryan Wesley Hess, Anthony Michael Hoy-Mitchell, Chester Galen Paw-teese Hubbard, Faith Ann Johnson #, Taylor Sierra Kent, Madison Gayle Koger, Mallory Renee Koger+, Aaron Richard Kull #, Jessica A. Kunkel #, Andrew Jordan Kurtz, Breanna Ray Lester +#, Mariah Hunter Lighthall, Chase Louis Logan * + ~, Alexandria Leigh Logsdon *+, Cara Brooke Martin #, Drae Austin Massey, Ashtyn Leigh Mentzer+ , Amber Nikole Moore, Chelsea Marie Morris *+, Tyler Mundy, Jared T. Munoz, Taelor Lyn Noonan #, Bruno Lipus De Oliveira , Tatum Arlene Padgett #, Trenton John Padgett, Beatrice Kay Peugh, Colleen Mackenzie Preston*+, Stetson Tyree David Reed, Dee Reinhardt, Megan Elizabeth Reynolds, Jaeden Dianne Romine +, Trevor Kaleb Rosine *+, John Jay Ryan, Tony Michael Savage, D’Marcus Antonio Seeley, Connor John Simmons, Adam Jon Smith, Austin Amon Smith, Austin Smith, Dylan Joseph Smith #, Shelby Mark Montana Smith, Brittney Michele Sparkman, Camryn Diane Stallbaumer, Garrett Robert Stout + ~, Johnnie Earl Cook Taylor, Mariah Kay Thompson #, Abree Traphagan, Blair Edward Urish ~, Riley Jack Wallace, Heather Arlene Waller, Gayle Robert Warren, Kelsey Renee Watts, Kyle Alvin Wechsler, Neil Warren Wegley, Conner Richard White, Derrick Austin Zaldivar, Megan Gayle Zaldivar *+.

(* Medals of Excellence , Top Ten; + National Honor Society member; # Washburn Tech graduate; ~ 4-year active FBLA member.)

The senior class’ scholarship and award recipients were also recognized during the ceremony as follows:

  • SFT Educational Association – Megan Zaldivar
  • Student Council Scholarships – Jessica Abendroth, Camryn Stallbaumer, Amber Moore, Ashtyn Mentzer, and Shelby Dahl
  • Sons of American Legion Scholarship – Amber Moore
  • Alfred D. Herlan Golf Scholarship – Briahna Beckman and Chase Logan
  • Betty Lee Memorial Scholarship – Madison Hastings and Taelor Noonan
  • National Honor Society Scholarship – Trevor Rosine and Colleen Preston
  • Lynch Memorial Scholarships – Camryn Stallbaumer and Colleen Preston
  • Overbrook Fidelis Club Scholarship – Mallory Koger
  • Scranton Lions Club Scholarship – Ashtyn Mentzer
  • First Security Bank of Overbrook – Jessica Abendroth
  • The Dr. James L. Ruble Jr., Kansas State Bank Scholarships – Erin Brady and Colleen Preston
  • SFT Foundation Scholarships:
  • Morris and Flossie Krouse-Waller – American Legion – Shelby Dahl and Destiny Bruno
  • Dean Tucker Family Scholarship – Jennifer Hall and Chelsea Morris
  • Sarah (King) Graham Memorial Scholarship – Ashtyn Mentzer
  • Leslie (Wurdeman) Riner Memorial Scholarship – Megan Zaldivar
  • David Swaim Memorial Scholarship – Mallory Koger
  • Overbook Family Dentistry – Shelby Dahl
  • Overbrook Rotary Outstanding Boy and Girl nominees: Chase Logan, Trevor Rosine, Garrett Stout, Jessica Abendroth, Erin Brady, Shelby Dahl
  • State of Kansas Scholars – Erin Brady, Chase Logan, Chelsea Morris, Colleen Preston, Connor Simmons

Seniors completing over 80 hours of community service were also recognized: Trevor Rosine, 390; Destiny Bruno, 146; Erin Brady, 286; Alexandria Logsdon, 143; William Foster, 223; Camryn Stallbaumer, 115; Breanna Lester, 104.

Senior class sponsors are Connie Lindell and Diana Hulings.

The 2014 SFTHS valedictorian Erin Brady’s and salutatorian Shelby Dahl’s speeches as they were submitted prior to graduation:


SFTHS 2014 Salutatorian Shelby Dahl

Welcome to the 2014 Santa Fe Trail graduation ceremony. I want to thank everyone for coming. You all probably know how much I enjoy public speaking, but today I’m going to be a team player. I’m going to cut my speech somewhat short so that Erin has more time to talk.

So that’s my poor attempt at humor. Unfortunately, it’s just the opposite. I strongly dislike getting up and talking in front of people, let alone an entire gym full. In fact, I lobbied to get the first lady come speak here today so that tickets would be limited to four per family. But, here I am .. a place I felt so comfortable my last four years athletically, as nervous as can be!

Having to give this speech is so full of irony. It was August of my freshman year in high school, before school even began, when Coach Luther would holler “Shelby, you’ll never be a volleyball player unless you learn to talk.” Then, basketball would come around and Coach Duncan, season after season, would yell “well, if Dahl isn’t going to talk out on the court, we’re ALL going to run. Get on the line.”

However, this irony has led me to the point of my speech. Maybe by having to get up here, the good Lord is saying at times we cannot be afraid to exit our comfort zone. Now I’m not saying we should try to be someone we’re not, but we must realize challenges will be in front of us that make us uncomfortable. How will we respond? Maybe with our generation, our phones and social media help us avoid the ups and downs of everyday living. Well, this isn’t the real world. Challenges, uncertainties, road blocks, and disappointments are coming our way.

Personally, I’ve had good role models that have shown me examples of this. My oldest brother Corey took the accelerated plan and finished college in three years. He could have drug it out, coasted another year, and avoided the “real world” for another year by living in the comfort zone of being a student. My younger brother Alex is probably as socially challenged as even me. Now I see him being a liturgist at church and helping lead the FCA group at the junior high.

More school related, we’ve had Mrs. Schmidt and the late Mr. Swaim. It certainly couldn’t have been comfortable for Joy to go through everything she did, cancer treatments mornings and evenings, have her body change, and still coach our volleyball team and counsel. But, rather than stay under the radar, she stepped out, coached the heck out of us, and led us to a state volleyball championship.

Mr. Swaim certainly couldn’t have been comfortable, while fighting to the very end, coming to school every day so he could be the awesome influence to us that he was. In fact, shortly after I found out that I had to give this speech, I went to Mr. Swaim and asked him if there was any way I could get out of doing it. I feel so inferior looking back … having the nerve to ask a man that was fighting for his life.

So, this is what I want to drive home today. Don’t be afraid. Don’t place limitations on yourselves. Don’t ask for the easy way out. Just like when we were down to our last straw in volleyball… just like we were absolutely dead in the water in the state basketball championship game, dig deep when the situation demands it. Embrace your comfort zone, but also don’t be afraid to step outside of it either. Thank you.


SFTHS 2014 Valedictorian Erin Brady

Hello friends and families, and welcome to the graduation of the class of 2014. “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go …” – Dr. Seuss

To me this means that I can do anything I imagine, whether it be the smallest detail or something on a more grand scale. After I leave this building I’m only home for a couple more months before I head off to college. I’ll have to make my own decisions and take responsibility for my own life, because I can’t depend on my parents to bottle-feed me anymore. Sure, I’ll still have my brother to keep an eye on me, but even then he can’t always be there, as he has for all the previous years of my life. That scares me, but at the same time it also excites me.

My brother Zack has been an influential part of my life since the beginning, so I’d like to take a moment and thank him for being such a good sibling. Normally I’d say something about loving him even though we have our occasional fights, but I can’t really say that. We never fight, and he is my best friend. However, it does unsettle me that he had this speech much easier. He graduated on Mother’s Day, so his speech was very clearly lined out in front of him. We are a day early for that, so I had to think of my topics all by myself, with a little help.

When thinking back on my four years in high school a few things come to mind. Freshman year was filled with braces and awkwardness. A memory quite vivid in my mind is freshman English with Mr. Schmidt reenacting Romeo and Juliet in 20 minutes as a one-man play.

My sophomore year I took a trip with the band to New York City. I will never forget this memory, as it is one of my fondest, and was the highlight of my sophomore year.

Junior year I was finally an upper classman. All I ever did was go to work and come to school, and it seemed as though I was falling in a rut. And then all of a sudden I was a senior.

A lot has happened this year. As a manager, I ran my first cross country meet. Talk about being tired. There were also Friday nights sitting on cold bleachers watching the boys play football. Then our girls won a state championship in volleyball, followed up by basketball. We also had state qualifiers in wrestling and forensics. I sat on a bus for 25 hours awaiting New Orleans. That’s always fun.

To all of my friends and teachers, thank you for guiding me through my four years here at Santa Fe Trail High School. A special thank you goes out to Mr. Swaim. He has done so much for this school in his many years of service, and so much for me as a student. Thank you to my parents for helping me be the best I can be.

To my fellow graduates: it’s time to say farewell to the good old Trail. Though we may have different paths, whether it be the work force, college, or the military, we will all remember high school. But we now have to move forward and start he next chapter of our lives. I would specifically like to thank those students joining the military for their bravery in going off to fight for our country. This next chapter may not be perfect, but enjoy the opportunity to put your best foot forward. Always remember where you came from and always remember where you are going. Thank you.

Photo thanks to Santa Fe Trail High School.


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