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Class of 2014 celebrates commencement


Kyle Clayton / Petersburg Pilot

The PHS graduating class of 2014 toss their caps into the air following Tuesday night's commencement.

Forty-five Petersburg High School seniors graduated Tuesday evening in the high school gym in front of a packed house.

PHS Principal Rick Dormer gave the welcome speech and offered a piece of advice to a graduating class he described as quiet performers.

"As you go forward class of 2014 I would encourage you to continue the tradition of accomplishing a lot, while speaking a little. My father-in-law often reminds me that the good lord gave us all two ears and one mouth and that conversations should be proportionate to that in terms of listening and speaking."

Teachers and students told stories, recited poems and cracked jokes.

A ringing cell phone coming from a staff member interrupted Dormer's speech. Retiring English teacher Sue Hardin promptly confiscated the device and tossed it across the room that sparked an eruption of cheers and laughter-a scene more than one of the graduating seniors might have experienced throughout their years in the classroom.

Hardin gave the farewell address and offered three pieces of advice for living that will apply for all that they do.

"Take the road less traveled by...always remember your manners...and finally, number one, and this is big, it's simple but it's very important," Hardin said. "Be very, very careful about when you do and when you do not use an apostrophe."

In his speech, Salutatorian Bret Martinsen highlighted the various awards and achievements his peers have earned throughout the years.

"These high school accomplishments will fade with time but that doesn't mean we have to as well," Martinsen said. "This is only the beginning of our lives and we should all keep working as hard as we can to achieve bigger and better things. Every one of us has talent and intelligence in a certain area and I hope we all find the dedication to use our talents to keep excelling in life."

Various community organizations also awarded more than $58,000 worth of scholarships to this year's graduates.

Local organizations and businesses gave over $58,000 in scholarships

AK State Elks MVS Scholarship

Diane Murph

Elks Scholastic Award

Fran Abbott, Diane Murph, Grace Weller

State Elks Vocational Grant

Nicole Peterson

AK State Assoc. of Emblem Clubs

Diane Murph

Supreme Emblem Club

Grace Weller

Moose Family Academic Award

Nicole Peterson

Moose-Mary Anne Greseth Memorial

Carly Tate

Moose-Ginny Clark Memorial

Grace Weller

Moose-W.T. Snyder Memorial

Michael Brock

Petersburg Pilot

Grace Weller

Bob Jones Memorial

Connor Yeager

Psg Elks Vocational Grant

Connor Yeager

Petersburg Indian Association

Michael Brock, Diane Murph

PIA Higher Education Scholarship

Michael Brock

Local Emblem Club

Connor Yeager, P.K. Bunyi

Petersburg Vessel Owners Assoc.

Grace Weller

Petersburg Municipal Employees Assoc.

P.K. Bunyi

Petersburg Rotary Club

Grace Weller

Women of the Moose

Paige Beene

Petersburg Masonic Lodge

Nicole Peterson

Associated Teachers of Petersburg

Michael Brock


Michael Brock, Grace Weller, Sierra Streuli

Petersburg Volunteer Fire Dept.

Robyn Schwartz, Cynthia Benitz

Sons of Norway

Emma Peeler, Bret Martinsen

Arthur Lopez Memorial

Fran Abbott, Robyn Schwartz


Fran Abbott

Petersburg Lutheran Church

Diane Murph, Emma Peeler

AK Marine Lines/Chamber of Comm.

Paige Beene, Fran Abbott

Cold Storage Workers

Nicole Peterson, Jared Volk

Don Harry Kito Memorial

Sierra Streuli

Emery Erwin Memorial Scholarship

Michael Brock

Icicle Seafoods (PFI)

Bret Martinsen, Emma Peeler

Gordon/Helmi Jensen Memorial

Cole Somerville, Cynthia Benitz

Marine Mammal Center

Cole Somerville

Michael Wittstock Memorial

Jared Volk, Paige Beene

Eric Corl Memorial Scholarship

Jared Volk, Nicole Peterson

AK State Employees Assoc.

Abby Taylor

Kyle Clayton / Petersburg Pilot

Retiring PHS teacher Sue Hardin delivered the commencement address.


Cynthia Benitz, Sierra Streuli

Superintendent of the Year

P.K. Bunyi

Nancy Harris Scholarship

Robyn Schwartz

Edwin Fuglvog Memorial Award

Josh Andrews

Clifford Mork Fosse Award

P.K. Bunyi


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