Cherokee High School graduates largest class in school history

by Jun 2, 2018COMMUNITY sgadugi, Front Page

ELATION: Jami Lossie (right) shows pure joy as the Cherokee High School Class of 2018 is declared official graduates during a commencement exercise at Ray Kinsland Stadium on the morning of Saturday, June 2. (SCOTT MCKIE B.P./One Feather photos)





Atotal of 76 Cherokee High School students crossed the stage and received their diploma at Ray Kinsland Stadium on the morning of Saturday, June 2.  The CHS Class of 2018 is the largest class in school history.

“Each and every student is sitting here today for the last time as a Cherokee Central Schools student, and they are here at this juncture in their lives because of many folks who contributed to their successes,” said Dr. Debora Foerst, CHS principal.

SALUTATORIAN: Robin Reed (right), the second ranked student in the CHS Class of 2018, receives her diploma from Dr. Debora Foerst, CHS principal.

She thanked the parents and guardians of all of the students as well as school staff and tribal officials and leaders who contribute their time and efforts to the betterment of Cherokee High School.  “We are able to provide opportunities to our Lady Braves and Braves second to none because you believe so strongly in education.  We are truly a living and breathing example of the idea that it takes a village to raise a child.”

Dr. Foerst went on to say, “Every single graduate and their families made a conscious choice to be a Brave, and they are showing the world what being a Braves is all about.  These seniors have set records, won titles, paved paths, and blazed trails on the field, on the stage, in the classroom, in other countries, in the Council Chambers, and in art galleries.”

Robin Reed, CHS Class of 2018 salutatorian, said in her address, “To my classmates, thank you for the best time here at Cherokee High School.  I will never forget all of the memories that we had here at the school together.  We’ve grown so close, especially in the past four years.”

She added, “This is not the end, it is only the beginning.  For most of us, we have known each other for 13 years, and unfortunately, today we will begin to go our separate ways and to live our separate lives.  I want each of you to remember what you have gained here at Cherokee High School – your abilities, hard work, and determination.  I hope each and every one of you will carry these characteristics on.”

Reed thanked the Cherokee community for their support of the school and its students.  “Our characteristics are derived from you.  Our support comes from you.  Words can never explain how grateful I am to be a Cherokee Brave – to be part of such an amazing Tribe, and this amazing school is something I will always hold close to me.”

TOP STUDENT: Scarlett Guy (right), CHS Class of 2018 valedictorian, receives her diploma from Dr. Debora Foerst, CHS principal.

Scarlett Guy, CHS Class of 2018 valedictorian, commented, “We all should be very proud; not just proud of this accomplishment, this step in beginning our lives, but proud of each other as members of the Class of 2018.  We are an amazing class.  We have members who were vital in the state football championship victory.  We have members who competed at the state level in wrestling, track and field, golf, and cheerleading.  We have amazing artists and writers, musicians and actors, traditional dancers, beaders and basket weavers, and Cherokee speakers.”

She added, “With such amazing and diverse characters in our class, the question begs to be asked, ‘where do we go from here?’  Well, many of us will go on to college.  Some of us will join the workforce or the military, but all of us will do amazing things because all of us are capable.”

Guy concluded by saying, “Please know that graduation is not the final accomplishment but is the first of many – the first to kick off the true beginning of our lives.  I’m sure that most of you, if not all, are nervous of what’s to come.  I know that I am, but it is natural to be scared of the unknown, as cliché as that sounds.  From our experiences here, we are as prepared for life after high school as we can be, but school can only teach you so much before you have to live and learn from your own success and failures…it is important to remember that admitting failure and defeat is not a weakness…it is from failure that we learn to be successful and find happiness in our lives.”

During Saturday’s ceremony, several awards were given out including the following:

  • NAIWA Award, presented by Loretta Bolden to Scarlett Guy and Robin Reed
  • “Be Brave” Awards, presented by Charlotte Saunooke, Cherokee Central School Board chairperson, to Riley Crowe and Tristin Bottchenbaugh
  • American Legion Awards, presented by Lew Harding, Steve Youngdeer American Legion Post 143 Commander, to Brennen Foerst and Andrew Reese
  • Battalion Commander Saber Presentation by Col. William Carter and Sgt. Alva Brown to Isaiah Bowman and Brennen Foerst
  • Jerry Wolfe Gadugi Award, presented by Gerri Grady and Sky Sampson, WCU Cherokee Center director, to Shanenon Wolfe and Natasha Walk

EXCITEMENT: Gabriella Milholen (left) shows her excitement as Dr. Debora Foerst, CHS principal, presents her with a diploma.


Ben Reed, CHS Class of 1989, gave the closing prayer and remarks.  “It’s a good day to be a Brave.  It’s a good day to live in this community.  It’s a good day to be an alumni from this school.  I’m very proud of our school system.”

He further stated, “You don’t have to be the best at everything, but try your best and try to be the best.  Try to use what God’s given you.”

The Cherokee High School Class of 2018 is as follows:

Highest Honors: Scarlett Delaney Guy (National Honor Society, valedictorian), Robin Leigh Reed (National Honor Society, salutatorian), Nolan Blake Arkansas (National Honor Society), Matthew Job Thompson Climbingbear (National Honor Society), Shelby Elisabeth Wolfe (National Honor Society)

High Honors: Kyra Chiann Sneed (National Honor Society), Anya Johnnie Walsh (National Honor Society)

Honors: Elias Chance Bryant (National Honor Society), Samuel Eason Esquivel (National Honor Society), Samantha Nicole Lee (National Honor Society), Macie Jais Welch (National Honor Society), Shanenon Ray Wolfe (National Honor Society)

National Honor Society: Shannon Tracy Albert, Chace Lowegan Andrews, Antonio Luna Bernhisel, Riley Alexis Crowe, Nathan Garrett Gaddis, Lidia Nichole Ramirez

Graduates: Rori Seth Bark, Jonah Tyler Bernhisel, Simone Martice Blake, Tristin Lee Bottchenbaugh, Isaiah Zane Bowman, Demetryus Ray Bradley, Marley Hana Isis Bradley, Raymond Tryon Pride Bradley,  Oshaunacee Minyon Brady, Timiyah She-Li Brown, Carrie Louise Conseen, Jesse Edward Crowe, Ayla Marie Cruz, William Tosh Davis IV, Justus Kyle Day, Josilyn Nicole Driver, Damian James Esquibel, Nathaniel Tre’von Evans, Rickey Lee Evans III, Brennen RayAllen Foerst, Latika French, Daniel Reece Fuller, Jordan Alfred Grant, Shane Trevor Holbrook, Kevin Michael Jackson Jr., Joanna Lavon Kalonaheskie, Shawn Ethan Larch, Byron Jase Locust, Kaley Brooke Locust, Jami Kathleen Lossie, Elijah Thomas Maney, Jordan Elise Maney, Dorian Sequoyah Martens, Gabriella Rae Milholen, Tye Carter Mintz, Cherith Brooke Owle, Courtney Elaine Owle, Zakarias Isaiah Perez, Jesse Blaine Queen, Andrew Cassidy Reese, Elijah Victor Rosario, Zian Mikah Rosario, Breece Josie Saunooke, CeAnna Michelle Saunooke, Steven Isaac Saunooke, Ashley Elizabeth Schaal, Xavier Maslin Siweumptewa, Seth Parker Sneed, Gavin Blake Squirrell, Tierra Hailey Stamper, Holden Thomas Straughan, Jeremy Allen Swayney, Jerome James Thompson, Tiarra Lacree Toineeta, Natasha Katelynn Walk, Tsali Clay James Welch, Karson Tame-Jex Wildcatt, Clarissa Cheyenne Wilnoty

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