Colleen Smith/staff photo
Valedictorian Molly Troxel

Colleen Smith/staff photo Valedictorian Molly Troxel

Orcas High School graduates 24 students during commencement ceremony

All who spoke about the 2021 graduating class used words like resiliency, strength and maturity.

“You are the best role models that this school could have — not just for your peers but for the entire country,” said commencement speaker Chris Waage, who was also the class of 2021 advisor and a long-time teacher of the students.

Principal Kyle Freeman echoed that sentiment.

“There is no group of people I’d rather go through this with than them,” he said.

Orcas Island High School held an in-person commencement ceremony on June 12 for family and invited guests only. The event was live-streamed for online viewers. The graduates then hopped into decorated vehicles for a parade through Eastsound.

The graduating class was Thian Armenia, Ella Bigbee, Landon Carter, Sofia Fleming, Ana Sofia Garcia Villarreal, Grace Gustafson, Douglas Ha, Christian Heisinger, Tomas Holmes, Izabela Janecek, Darian Johnson, Alanna Lago, Flora Lister, Hazel Moe, Emma Rodgers, Bethany Sanders, Ryan Schneider, Lindsey Simpson, Madison Todd, Molly Troxel, Leonai van Putten, Portia White, Miette Woolworth and Ayjah Wright.

Waage urged the class to “drink this day in” after enduring a long year of watershed moments that included a global pandemic, a historic presidential election (in which some of the students voted in) and protests for racial equality.

Typically, the senior class gives a special community award to a teacher, coach or staff member who was integral to the students’ success. This year, the students chose to recognize every employee of Orcas Island School District.

Salutatorian Flora Lister, who attended Orcas Schools from grade kindergarten through 12th, thanked — by name — the teachers, staff, coaches, family and community members who believed in her.

Class president and salutatorian Landon Carter talked of his classmates’ participation in every sport, club and musical opportunity, and how they worked together despite their many different opinions.

Valedictorian Molly Troxel explored the pitfalls of being labeled “smart” and how emotional intelligence should be given as much weight as traditional intellectual measurements. She closed with a quote from Abhijit Naskar: “Smartness will not save this world, warmth and wisdom will.”

Local organizations and businesses awarded the students $356,000 in scholarships. The full list is below.

American Legion Voyle B. Martin Post #93

Academic Scholarship in Honor of James F. Baxter: Lindsey Simpson, $1,500

Academic Scholarship in Honor of Glen Monson: Izabela Janecek, $1,500

Claude A. Rubeling Academic Scholarship: Landon Carter, $1,500

Claude A. Rubeling Academic Scholarship: Sofia Fleming, $1,500

American Legion Leadership Award & Medallion: Landon Carter, $250

American Legion Leadership Award & Medallion: Izabela Janecek, $250

Sons of the American Legion

Sons of the American Legion Scholarship: Flora Lister, $1,500

American Legion Auxiliary Unit #93

Sally Hart Memorial Scholarship: Alanna Lago $1,500

Mid Flaherty Memorial Scholarship: Landon Carter, $1,500

Lar Vern Keys Memorial Scholarship: Flora Lister, $1,500

Banner Bank

Banner Bank Scholarship: Flora Lister, $1,000

Banner Bank Scholarship: Leonai van Putten, $1,000

Fidelis Circle

Fidelis Circle Award: Douglas Ha, $200

Fidelis Circle Award: Miette Woolworth, $200

Funhouse Commons

Funhouse Commons College Scholarship (Scholarship is renewed every year for up to four years): Landon Carter, full-ride

Funhouse Commons College Scholarship (Scholarship is renewed every year for up to four years): Ana Sofia Garcia Villarreal, full-ride

Henigson Public School Student Fund (Scholarship is renewed every year for up to four years): Grace Gustafson, $10,000

Funhouse Commons/The Pichu Fund: Ana Sofia Garcia Villarreal, $1,000

Funhouse Commons/Realtors of Orcas Island Hat Draw: Portia White, $3,000

Island Artisans

Island Artisans Arts Scholarship: Molly Troxel, $3,000

Island Artisans Arts Scholarship: Emma Rodgers, $1,000

Kiwanis Club of Orcas Island Scholarships

Walt Corbin Citizen/Leadership Scholarship: Leonai van Putten, $1,200

John Erly Citizen/Leadership Scholarship: Molly Troxel, $1,200

Bob Foulk Citizen/Leadership Scholarship: Sofia Fleming, $1,200

George Garrels Citizen/Leadership Scholarship: Izabela Janecek, $1,200

Robert Patton Citizen/Leadership Scholarship: Grace Gustafson, $1,200

Bill Marx Hat Draw Award: Bethany Sanders, $500

Madrona Club

Madrona Club Scholarship: Molly Troxel, $2,000

Robin DiGeorgio Endowment Scholarship: Flora Lister, $3,000

Orcas Education Association

Orcas Education Association Scholarship: Portia White, $500

Orcas Island Booster Club

Orcas Island Booster Club Scholarship: Tomas Holmes, $500

Orcas Island Booster Club Scholarship: Alanna Lago, $500

Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival

Marilyn Anderson Young Musician’s Award: Landon Carter, $500

Marilyn Anderson Young Musician’s Award: Christian Heisinger, $500

Marilyn Anderson Young Musician’s Award: Alanna Lago, $500

Orcas Island Education Foundation

OIEF Scholarship: Sofia Fleming, $5,000

OIEF Scholarship: Leonai van Putten, $5,000

OIEF Scholarship: Douglas Ha, $3,500

OIEF Scholarship: Izabela Janecek, $3,500

OIEF Scholarship: Molly Troxel, $3,500

OIEF Scholarship: Emma Rodgers, $2,000

OIEF Scholarship: Lindsey Simpson, $2,000

OIEF Scholarship: Grace Gustafson, $1,000

OIEF Scholarship: Portia White, $1,000

OIEF/Hobie Alter Scholarship: Christian Heisinger, $500

OIEF/Hobie Alter Scholarship: Alanna Lago, $500

OIEF/Marian A. Berdan Scholarship: Grace Gustafson, $750

OIEF/Thurman Bond Scholarship: Hazel Moe, $2,000

OIEF/Thurman Bond Scholarship: Miette Woolworth, $1,000

Orcas Island Fire and Rescue Firefighter/EMT Association

Jeff Patty Scholarship: Sofia Fleming, $2,000

Orcas Island Lions Club & Foundation

Abrahamsen Family Vocational Scholarship: Sofia Fleming, $3,600

Joseph Bond Vocational Scholarship: Alanna Lago, $3,600

Jim Golithon Vocational Scholarship: Grace Gustafson, $3,600

Leonard Wellman Academic Scholarship: Leonai van Putten, $3,600

Rev. Johnson E. West Memorial Lions Scholarship: Christian Heisinger, $3,600

Vic Hughes Memorial Scholarship: Thian Armenia, $3,600

Orcas Odd Fellows

Orcas Odd Fellows Award: Thian Armenia, $1,500

Orcas Odd Fellows Award: Izabela Janecek, $1,500

Orcas Online, Inc.

Orcas Online, Inc. Scholarship: Molly Troxel, $500

Terry Cairns Memorial Scholarship: Emma Rodgers, $1,000

Public School Employees of Orcas Island

Public School Employees of Orcas Island Scholarship: Landon Carter, $150

Public School Employees of Orcas Island Scholarship: Portia White, $150

Robert V. Curtis Memorial

Robert V. Curtis Memorial Scholarship: Portia White, $1,500

San Juan County Sheriff’s Guild

San Juan County Sheriff’s Guild Scholarship: Ana Sofia Garcia Villarreal, $500

San Juan County Sheriff’s Guild Scholarship: Darian Johnson, $500

San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau

Hospitality/Business/Communications Scholarship: Landon Carter, $1,000

San Juan Masonic Lodge #175

San Juan Masonic Lodge #175 Scholarship: Sofia Fleming, $1,500

San Juan Masonic Lodge #175 Scholarship: Leonai van Putten, $1,500

San Juan Masonic Lodge #175 Scholarship: Grace Gustafson, $1,000

San Juan Preservation Trust

San Juan Preservation Trust Climate Leadership Scholarship: Izabela Janecek, $5,000

Steve Resch Memorial

Steve Resch Memorial Scholarship: Grace Gustafson, $3,300

Steve Resch Memorial Scholarship: Leonai van Putten, $3,300

 

Colleen Smith/staff photo
Salutatorian Flora Lister and Ana Garcia Villarreal.

Colleen Smith/staff photo Salutatorian Flora Lister and Ana Garcia Villarreal.

Colleen Smith/staff photo
Salutatorian and class president Landon Carter.

Colleen Smith/staff photo Salutatorian and class president Landon Carter.

Colleen Smith/staff photo
Emma Rodgers

Colleen Smith/staff photo Emma Rodgers

Colleen Smith/staff photo
Alanna Lago.

Colleen Smith/staff photo Alanna Lago.