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NORTH BEND — The graduating class at North Bend High School received more than $1 million in scholarships this year.

The class total for scholarships received was $1,475,182, which were announced last Thursday.

“This has been an academic class all the way through high school,” said Jake Smith, NBHS vice principal. “That is represented in the fact that we have nine valedictorians this year.”

North Bend High School allows more than one student to be given the title of valedictorian so long as their GPA qualifies. According to Smith, a usual graduating class has five or six.

“There are a few kids early on who showed drive and it becomes part of the culture, which is what happened with this class,” he said.

During last week’s scholarship award ceremony, 17 different organizations presented. For those who weren’t able to do the presenting themselves, school administrators made the announcements.

In an email to The World, the school’s Career Readiness Coordinator Ginny Pricket sent a list with some of the largest scholarships received this year.

The largest went to Cheyenne Datan with a total of $124,000, a four-year combined sum from the Presidential Scholarship and Pacific Grant of Pacific University.

Mekenzie Brock also received a Presidential Scholarship and Pacific Grant from Pacific University, at a total of $92,400.

Chephren Sinko was awarded the Dean’s Scholarship and Gonzaga Grant from Gonzaga University for a combined total of $88,950, while Vianka Hoyer received $84,000 from the Frances R. Linfield Scholarship from Linfield College.

These are just a few of the large scholarships awarded to NBHS graduates.

Pricket told The World that the Student Services Office also compiled plans for next year from the senior class, showing that 51 percent are going on to a two-year college, 27 percent to a four-year college, with 12 percent entering the workforce, six percent going into the military, and four percent headed to trade schools or apprenticeship-type programs.

On graduation night, Smith detailed a long-standing tradition for all district staff to not only attend but sit around the students.

“When graduation ends and graduates walk out of the building, before anyone gets out of their chair, the teachers make two pathways for kids to leave,” Smith described. “It’s difficult for teachers to choose which side to stand on, but everyone is happy and emotional to see their elementary teachers.”

The teachers make a tunnel for the graduates to walk through on their way out.

“We have a lot of great people who work with these students and dedicated staff to get them prepared for graduation,” Pricket said. “I’m proud of what they’ve accomplished.”

Reporter Jillian Ward can be reached at 541-269-1222, ext. 235, or by email at jillian.ward@theworldlink.com. Follow her on Twitter: @JE_Wardwriter.

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