MYRTLE POINT — Myrtle Point High School held its graduation ceremony Saturday at its gymnasium where a number of families and friends gathered to celebrate the class of 2019.

With emotions high, Principal Kayli Fandel said this year’s graduating class, which consisted of 27 seniors, was among the school’s most eclectic group of students.

“I feel proud,” said Fandel. “They are a really good group of kids and they’ve been a great joy.”

In her speech, Fandel said she wanted to point out to students the importance of staying organized and finding balance in whatever life brings them.

This year, the commencement ceremony featured performances from the Myrtle Point High School Band, the Hermann Brothers and staff members Liz Hernandez and Ryan Miller.

Former longtime English teacher Liz Andy, who relocated to Alaska, also made a special appearance and delivered this year’s guest speech.

The graduating class wrote to Andy earlier this year expressing their wish to have her return and speak. The students even went as far as to raise funds to purchase an airline ticket for Andy to ensure she was able to attend the commencement ceremony. 

“I was honored,” she said. “These young adults are very special and I know they are all going to go on to do some amazing things.”

After the seniors received their diplomas, Fandel, who was assisted by valedictorian Sierra Smith, certified the class of 2019. Following tradition, the students moved their tassels from one side of their caps to the other to symbolize their official status as graduates.

This year, over a dozen students received scholarship funds from a number of organizations, businesses and community members. Among which included salutatorian Tom Isenhart who will be attending Southern Oregon University in Ashland later this year.

Isenhart, who plans on majoring in digital cinema, said he aspires to one day become an acclaimed film editor. Last year, Isenhart and his older brother, Jack, won first place in the Short Film category at the 2018 Oregon Thespians Festival’s Technical Theatre & Design Competition. 

In his speech, Isenhart said he wanted to keep things lighthearted and make everyone laugh one last time before they all went their separate ways.

“I hope everyone enjoyed their time and that they go on to make the most out of whatever it is they plan on doing,” he said.

Reporter Amanda Linares can be reached at 541-266-2039 or by email at amanda.linares@theworldlink.com.