Area high schools, valedictorians celebrate graduation

  • Written by Shannon Michael

It’s that time of year for high schools to hand out accolades to seniors earning the title of valedictorian, colleges and organizations to award hard-working students with scholarships, and for proud families to watch their graduates walk across a stage to receive a diploma.

This year’s valedictorians and high school graduations are as follows:

Michael Boller: Cedar Park Christian School, Bothell
Michael Boller, son of David and Jean Boller, will be attending George Fox University, where he plans to major in mechanical engineering.

The university has awarded Boller the Presidential Scholar Award and the FIRST Robotics Scholarship.
Boller names Mr. Ian Dick as his favorite teacher at CPCS. “His teaching style helped me to avoid several small mistakes in both physics and math,” he said.

Cedar Park’s FIRST Robotics Team, CPR, has been Boller’s main extracurricular activity in high school. He was team captain this year. He is also part of the yearbook staff.

Cedar Park Christian School will graduate 98 seniors on June 8 at 7 p.m. at their Bothell campus.

Michelle Kendall: Northshore Networks

Michelle Kendall is the daughter of Sherri and Boyd Kendall. She, along with 45 other homeschooled students, will participate in Northshore Networks’ graduation on June 10 at 3 p.m. at the Northshore Performing Arts Center in Bothell.

Meanwhile, Secondary Academy for Success will graduate 47 seniors on June 10 at 7 p.m. at the Northshore Performing Arts Center in Bothell. The school does not select valedictorians.

Amanda Staten: Bothell High School
Amanda Staten, daughter of Kristine and Richard Staten, plans to major in accounting at the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business.

Staten, who has been actively involved in ASB throughout her high school career, listed Ms. Valerie Spagnolo, who retired as ASB advisor last year, as her favorite instructor.

“She has inspired me to develop my leadership skills and to work to change the world for the better.”
In additon to ASB, Staten was actively involved in BHS’s theatre arts, National Honor Society and a dance-drill team. She has also been a youth suicide prevention volunteer and Hugh O’Brien Youth Leadership Ambassador.

Scott Williams: Bothell High School
Scott Williams, son of Katherine and Kenneth Williams, will be attending Brigham Young University in the fall majoring in accounting.

The university awarded him a Brigham Young Merit Scholarship. In addition, he also won the Bothell Jr. Cougar Football Association and Great American Rivalry scholarships.

Williams’ favorite teacher has been Mr. Philip Dean, the BHS band director.

“He taught me to push myself beyond what I thought I could take in order to achieve the potential I have,” Williams said.

Williams played football for BHS, participated in band, earned the Boy Scouts Eagle Scout award and acted in this year’s spring musical, “The Wedding Singer.”

Bothell High School will graduate 447 seniors on June 12 at 12 p.m. at Comcast Arena in Everett.

Rahul H. Bachal: Inglemoor High School
Rahul Bachal, son of Pratibha Bachal, is one of six valedictorians graduating from Inglemoor High School this year.

The senior, a National Merit Finalist scholarship recipient, is headed to California Institute of Technology in the fall where he plans to major in chemical engineering.

Bachal’s favorite teacher was Mr. Alan Schondelmeyer. “He’s a great math teacher who actually teaches instead of just lecturing.”

When not studying, Bachal has been involved in tennis, Science Olympiad, math club and is a member of an alternative rock band.

Randa K. Mustafa: Inglemoor High School
Randa Mustafa, daughter of Afanin and Karim Mustafa, will enter the University of Washington’s mechanical engineering program this fall.

Randa has been active in many activities including National Honor Society, Science Olympiad and track and field. She also volunteered at Evergreen Hospital and tutored students in math.

Alexander G. Rachkov: Inglemoor High School
Alexander Rachkov, son of Mariana and Rossen Rachkov, is headed to the University of Washington where he will major in biochemistry.

He couldn’t name just one favorite teacher, but said of Mr. Christopher McQueen: “He taught me to think more critically about myself, as well as the world around me.”

Rachkov has also participated in club team swimming with WAVE Aquatics, track and field, cross country and Science Olympiad.

Camille M. Sasson: Inglemoor High School
Camille Sasson, daughter of Valerie Sasson and Gary May, has been accepted into the University of Washington’s Honors Program. She plans to major in sociology and international studies. She received the Stamps Leadership Scholarship.

asson has been an active participant in her high school’s wind ensemble and marching band, and she is a summer sailing camp instructor.

Taylor D. Schmitt: Inglemoor High School
Taylor Schmitt, son of Kathy and Bradley Schmitt, will major in economics at Pomona College.

He is the recipient of the Matthew T. Griggs Memorial Scholarship.
Schmitt has been active in select and high school baseball, Honor Society and French Club.

Megan E. Stevens: Inglemoor High School
Megan Stevens, daughter of Cynthia and Randall Stevens, will attend the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business.

She received the NEOPA Scholarship, PEMCO Foundation Scholarship,  Karen Forys Northshore Rotary Scholarship and the Lincoln Linx Alumni Association Scholarship.

Mr. Schondelmeyer was Stevens’ favorite teacher. “He is the most compassionate and understanding man that I have ever met and always helps everyone out with a smile, she said.  

Stevens has been a volunteer sports writer for the Bothell-Kenmore Reporter, the IHS’ Nordic News business manager and reporter and active in National Honor Society.

Inglemoor High School’s graduation will take place on June 12 at 3:30 p.m. at Everett’s Comcast Arena. The school expects 535 seniors to cross the stage.

Nicole D. Blue: Woodinville High School
Nicole Blue, daughter of Michelle and Kenneth Blue, is heading south this fall to the University of Southern California.

She plans to major in architecture with a minor in Spanish.

The university awarded her a USC Dean’s Scholarship. In addition, she earned the ACE Mentor Program of Washington Scholarship from Callison & LMN Architects.

Ms. Sully Hester is one of Blue’s favorite teachers. “She introduced me to photography and always lets me explore my artistic potential,” Blue said.

Blue has been active in National Honor Society, Washington state photography competition, NYSA soccer, earth club, Spanish club and FBLA.

Woodinville High School will graduate 448 seniors on June 12 at 7 p.m. at Comcast Arena in Everett.

Katie Scherer: Northwest Liberty School, Woodinville
Katie Scherer, the daughter of Joe and Kathy Scherer, will be attending Bethel University in Saint Paul, Minn., where she plans to major in nursing.

She was awarded two scholarships by the university: the Bethel Faculty Scholarship and Bethel Scholarship.
Prior to attending NWLS, Scherer attended Woodinville High School. She gives credit to WHS instructor Mr. Gary Thurman, saying, “He always made science interesting and fun to learn which has helped me succeed in my science classes as I prepare to be a nurse.”

Scherer has been active in sports throughout high school, including select level ice hockey all three years, and field hockey and soccer earlier in her high school career. She plans to play ice hockey in college.

Northwest Liberty School will host a graduation ceremony for their 13 seniors on June 13 at 7 p.m. 

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