Dunsmuir community, teachers launch 11 Tigers into the future

Shareen Strauss
Dunsmuir High School graduating class of 2019 stands with their teachers and staff just prior to the big ceremony on June 7th, 2019.

Dunsmuir High School celebrated 11 seniors in a tearful graduation ceremony Friday night, June 7.

Walking through the crowded gymnasium to take their seat under the large 2019 numbered balloons, not too many knew of the students’ messages of inspiration posted on top of their caps: “Just did it,” “In order to bloom you must grow,” “On to the next chapter,” “I made it, Mom,” and on a plain torn piece of school paper; “Last minute like everything else I did in high school,” were some of the statements expressed at their last moments in their high school.

Graduates Madison Champe, Kaitlyn Edwards, Brandi Leach and Clarisa Murillo all made National Honor Society. Accompanied by graduate classmates, Evan Freeman, Kyle Jones, Caleb Kenaston, Deondra Nathan, Skyler Shoop and Emily Thacher, most all received numerous scholarships, stood for the last time at the school that they grew up in over the past four years.

Superintendent and Principal Ray Kellar told the graduates that their “fresh new start is real, is now and it begins in about an hour.”

Kellar announced the recognition of the students’ awards and scholarships which added up to over $20,000. He also explained the Kevin Young Award which was presented to Brandi Leach and Clarisa Murillo. It is different than the Athlete of the Year Award as it is an honor earned over the tenure of all of the high school years.

Brandi Leach gave the Salutatorian speech, thanking all the teachers, staff, friends and family for their investments and explaining the impact they all had on the lives of the graduates.

ASB President and Valedictorian Clarisa Murillo spoke earnestly about each of her graduating classmates, describing them as talented, intelligent leaders, and recognizing the goofballs who brought humor into their school years. She said, “Our past should motivate us to strive for more and do better for ourselves.”

The newest staff member, Jacob Mekeel, gave a speech with the theme that Murillo already announced from it being drilled into the students all year long: “Stay in the moment. We are way too blessed to be stressed. Be kind hearted.”

Before the diplomas were given out, a slide show of each graduate with their favorite quote and words of thanks was shown followed by a flower ceremony wherein each student presented a flower to their favorite person.

As Dunsmuir Joint Union High School District Board of Trustees Clerk Bill Townsend announced the names of the 2019 graduates, board representative Jean Rogers and board member Kathy Wilson presented the graduates with their diplomas.