‘Taking Care of Business:’ Oroville graduates Class of 2008

<div align= Photo by Gary DeVon

Judy Roel receives congratulations from her parents Bob and Vera after last Saturday’s Commencement Ceremonies for the OHS Class of 2008.

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Photo by Gary DeVon

Judy Roel receives congratulations from her parents Bob and Vera after last Saturday’s Commencement Ceremonies for the OHS Class of 2008.

OROVILLE – Tam Hutchinson encouraged the 2008 graduates of Oroville High School to go forth with pride in their community.

Hutchinson was introduced Saturday afternoon by Zac Kinman, the class salutatorian, who said the teacher and coach was the class’ unanimous pick. Kinman recounted that Hutchinson was also their guest speaker at their eighth-grade promotion ceremony.

Hutchinson, Oroville’s football coach, said he was geared to giving “half-time” talks and would be able to keep his thoughts to 10 minutes.

“I’m not going to leave you with quotes and philosophies and clich&amp;#233;s,” he said. “You should just remember to enjoy life and leave your options open. Find something you really like to do and do it. If you can turn a hobby into your work, that’s always the best.”

Hutchison also told the students to “take pride in yourselves and in everything you do, take pride in your family and take pride in your community even though you might not chose to remain here.”

He said he was always amazed over the years over how much support Oroville, despite its size and economic condition, supports the young people, especially financially. Later he pointed out that even though there were a little more than 40 kids graduating Coulton Auditorium was packed with supporters.

The Valedictorian Address was given by Kelsey Smith, who talked about how she and her fellow students had “made it” to that day.

“It has been a journey some of us shared these past 12 years and some of us met along the way. Today one journey ends and tomorrow another begins,” said Smith.

The valedictorian, who plans on attending Eastern Washington University to earn a degree in elementary education, also thanked the Oroville school staff and the students’ families for their support and guidance.

Salutatorian Kinman was then awarded the Glover Cup, which was presented by Superintended Dr. Ernie Bartleson.

“This award is significant to Oroville… it is a fun award and meaningful, not a popularity contest, but awarded to the student who shows citizenship, honor, dignity and offers council and leadership to the other students,” Bartleson said.

A slide show of the graduates featuring photos, both recent and when they were tikes, was then presented by Ashley Oakes and Jackie Loera.

Teacher George Thornton announced the addition of a new plaque in recognition of senior projects. The plaque will hang in the school’s trophy case and will feature some of the students’ names who went above and beyond with their projects.

“Requiring senior projects at Oroville High School began a while back. The senior projects have evolved to the point where every senior participates,” said Thornton, who added that this class was the first that had to complete a project as a state requirement as well.

“This year our seniors have given 2732 combined hours back to the community and they spent over $4,481 of their own money, with the help of their parents. We conservatively estimate they gave nearly $37,000 back to the community.”

Thornton said the plaque honored all the students, but this year would feature the names of four students in particular for “Senior Project of the Year.”

“Leslie Ortiz and Adan Alcantara basically organized this year’s Cinco de Mayo celebration and Alison Mathews organized and put on the career fair with over 20 community and business representatives,” said Thornton, “and Jacob Barker did the landscape project at the south end of the school.”

Principal Steve Quick also mentioned Barker for his principal’s awards. Quick submitted Barker’s name to the Washington State Principal’s Scholar Program – Award for Academic Excellence and the student was recognized by the program as an “outstanding student,” according to Quick.

“Zac Kinman has also been an outstanding student and athlete,” said Quick, who presented Kinman with the Principal’s Leadership Award. “He was our student representative to the state board of education. He is just an overall great person.”

In addition Quick presented the Terry Taylor Award to Francisco Curiel. The award is named after the late OHS teacher and athletic director.

“He has an outlook on life that is so positive that I don’t think anyone would deny it,” he said.

Maria Griffin, Dean of Students, recounted the many scholarships and other awards that were presented the night before in a separate awards ceremony.

Although the Class Song is “Funky Town” by Lipps Inc. a performance of another song that might better suit the Class Motto “This is How We ROCK, Now Let’s Roll” followed.

Teachers Rick Mead on drums and Heather Zosel on keyboards sang BTO’s “Taking Care of Business.” The performance featured senior Anthony Garcia on lead guitar with underclassman Devin Milligan also on guitar.

Dr. Bartleson and School Director Tedi Fletcher then awarded the diplomas and the superintendent officially presented the Class of 2008. The new graduates then left the stage in a procession to be congratulated by friends and family.

The following are the awards and scholarships presented at the Awards Dinner on Friday night as well as those presented at the graduation ceremony.

Jacob Barker

Aurora Masonic Lodge, $500; Andrew York Memorial, $1500; Oroville Dollars for Scholars – Yulah and Philip Schleif, $1000 and William Schildgen Award, $1000;

George Washington Foundation, $1050; Molson Grange, $500;

Okanogan Masonic Lodge, $500 and Washington State Principal’s Scholar Program – Award for Academic Excellence.

Ross Barker

Oroville Dollars for Scholars – Ray and Eula Forney- Kuntz, $400 and Robert Drummond, $400; George Washington Foundation, $1050; Tara L. Allen, $1500 and

AA Degree through running start WVC.

Alysia Cumbo

Aurora Masonic Lodge, $500; Oroville Dollars for Scholars – Yulah and Philip Schleif, $1000; Harry Sherling Scholarship/Chamber of Commerce, $500; Molson Grange, $500;

Oroville American Legion, $250; Oroville Eagles Auxiliary, $1000 and Oroville Fire Department/Wheeler Memorial, $100.

Francisco Curiel

Oroville Dollars for Scholars – Glenn and Katherin Tracy, $800 and Terry Taylor Award

Maya Fulmer

Oroville Dollars for Scholars – Ray and Eula Forney- Kuntz, $800.

Jacob Hilstad

Oroville Dollars for Scholars – Ray and Eula Forney, $200; Sara Hulphers Memorial, $600 and William Schildgen, $1000.

Angela Johnson

AA degree through Running Start/Wenatchee Valley College

Zachary Kinman

Oroville Dollars for Scholars – Yulah and Philip Schleif, $1000; McClendon Scholarship, $700, Oroville American Legion, $250; Elaine Johnson/Booster Club, $250; Oroville Coaches Association, $135; Oroville Education Association, $500; Principal’s Leadership Award – Certificate of Merit and Glover Cup Award.

Elizabeth McKinney

Curtis Grange Scholarship, $600, Oroville Dollars for Scholars – Ray and Eula Forney-Kuntz ,$800; Elaine Johnson/Oroville Booster Club, $250; Oroville Coaches Association, $135 and the North Valley Hospital Health Care Scholarship $3000.

Ashley Oakes

Oroville Dollars for Scholars – Ray and Eula Forney-Kuntz Award $800.

Judith Roel

Oroville Dollars for Scholars – Yulah and Ph
ilip Schleif Award, $1000; Oroville American Legion, $250 and Roberta Patterson Stowe, $500.

Jennifer Reed

Oroville Eagles Auxiliary $1000.

Andrew Rounds

Oroville Fire Department/Wheeler Memorial $100.

Jessica Santana

Oroville Dollars for Scholars – Yulah and Philip Schleif Award, $1000 and

Family Health Centers of Okanogan, $500.

Kelsey Smith

Oroville Dollars for Scholars – Yulah and Philip Schleif Award, $1000; George Washington Foundation, $1050; Lloyd Hughes Memorial Educational Scholarship, $1000; Okanogan Masonic Lodge, $500; Oroville American Legion, $250; Oroville Junior Women, $500 and Oroville Education Association $500.

Nathan Thompson

Oroville Coaches Association $135.

About Gary DeVon

Gary DeVon is the managing editor of the Okanogan Valley Gazette-Tribune and celebrated his 25th year at the newspaper in August 2012. He graduated from Gonzaga University with a degree in Communications - Print Journalism, with an emphasis in photojournalism. He is a proud alumnus of Oroville High School. His family first settled in Okanogan County in the late 1800s. His parents are Judy DeVon and the late Larry DeVon and he has two younger brothers - Dante and Michael. Many family members still call Oroville home. He has a grown daughter, Segornae Douglas and a young granddaughter, Erin.