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Collins High School grads look ahead

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By Brenda Sexton-The Courier-Herald

In her speech at Collins High School's commencement exercises, Kyli Rice called her fellow graduates “rebels with a cause,” and said working as hard as they have to earn their diploma means they are prepared to take on anything.

“They are a phenomenal group of graduates,” Collins High Principal Marcie Polin told the audience gathered at White River High auditorium Thursday night. “Every diploma tonight is well deserved.”

The class of 2007 totaled 30 graduates hailing from the four school districts that make up the Collins Alternative Programs - Enumclaw, Orting, Sumner and White River.

In a raised-hands poll taken by Polin, she announced six members of the class of 2007 were the first to graduate in their family; 15 were working while going to school; two are parents; three have started college; and 19, about 63 percent of the class, will begin college soon.

Among those will be Chelsea Watkins, who was presented a Pierce First scholarship by Ruth Schindler of Pierce College. The scholarship provides tuition for the 2007-08 school year, an approximate $2,600 value. Schindler presented a second award, the Pierce Now Scholarship, for $1,200 to Chasity Dufour.

Lisa Hasme earned a $1,000 Image America Corporation scholarship, which she plans to use at the Motorcycle Mechanics Institute in Arizona. She is one of three females from Washington state to be accepted into the program there.

Collins High counselor Renee Myers Globe presented local scholarships to Brittany Loukides, who earned a Buckley Log Show scholarship. Michelle Ternes, who quit school twice and this time quit a full-time job to return to school, earned a Buckley Log Show scholarship and a $1,000 Enumclaw Rotary Scholarship.

Watkins, Rice, Hasme and Brittany Krom were student speakers.

Collins High honor graduates were also recognized. Honor students are those who maintained a 3.0 grade-point average or better. They were Jillian Dawson, Jesse Dean, Jessie Ellington, Hasme, Krom and Ternes. Ellington was valedictorian and Dawson was salutatorian.

The evening also held a twinge of sadness, not just for those leaving Collins High, but for retiring Sumner School District Superintendent Donald Eismann, who was one of the instigators of the program.

During his speech, Eismann recalled attending the first Collins High commencement ceremony in June 1991. There was one graduate, from Sumner High. Eismann presented Polin with the framed first program he's had hanging on his office wall.

Through those years, Eismann said, his “respect and admiration for the graduates hasn't changed.” He also presented his version of David Letterman's Top 10 with advice to graduates.

In turn, Polin presented Eismann with the Collins Community Service Award for his strong support, openness, fairness and contributions to Collins programs. She said he masterminded the Collins Junior High Program a few years ago and helped secure the grant to get it open. Three of Thursday night's graduates started at CJH.

In the grand finale for the evening, Collins High graduates received their diplomas. The class of 2007 includes: Lacie Dawn Adkins, Derek D. Bridgman, Sabrina May Cors, Charles Craft, Jillian May Dawson, Jesse Dean, Chasity ReneƩ Dufour, Jessie Moriah Ellington, Martiqua Alexis Esquivel, Robin Ann Fite, Spencer David Fox, Ashley Gamble, Jared D. Garl, Lisa Roxanne Hasme, Michael Sean Johnson, Brittany Ann Krom, Joshua Bryan Leeper, Brittany M Loukides, Rachel Lunde, Ashley Rochelle Menking, Alan John Perdue, Chelsea Lynn Pozzobon, Kyli Spring Rice, Zachary Allen Rice, Curtis J Smith, Michelle Shannon Ternes, Chelsey Marie Watkins, Kristen M. Weber, Brian Robert Woodhull and Natalia Christine Yorio.

Brenda Sexton can be reached at bsexton@courierherald.com.

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