Photo by Ted Escobar
Alumni speaker Mike Sekaquaptewa sings a song about change, and urges students to be ready — and excited — for what their futures hold.
As of Tuesday, June 5, 2018
TOPPENISH Twenty-seven youthful members of the Yakama Indian Nation are stepping toward their futures after their graduation from the Yakama Nation Tribal School last night, June 5, at the Legends Casino Events Center.
They left their school with fond memories of their time at Tribal and the successes of the boys basketball team, which placed fourth in the 1B state tournament, and he-man Justin Andrews, who placed in three events at the state track and field meet.
The graduation was kicked off by the Yakama Warriors Association, a veterans organization, posting the colors.
Arlen Washines gave the invocation and an opening statement.
Principal Adam Strom Jr. gave a welcoming statement, and Mike Sekaquaptewa was the alumni speaker.
While he opened with a song, Sekaquaptewa told students to be ready for change.
“Things are going to change; you can be excited,” he said.
After a slide show produced by Mary Looney, keynote speaker Anthony Washines gave his remarks urging graduates to leave their marks.
“These young women and young men are beginning to fashion their own stories,” he said.
After parent recognition with roses by the graduates, valedictorian Isiah Strom addressed his fellow students.
“I ask that you follow your dreams and do what makes you happy,” he said.
Counselor Raynel Begay did a scholarship presentation.
Diplomas were awarded by Yakama Nation School Board members Delano Saluskin, Charlene Tilliquots, Raymond Smartlowit and Esther Moses-Hypieer.
Then Superintendent Frank Mesplie presented the graduates to those in attendance.
There were refreshments afterward.
The Yakama Nation Class of 2018 includes:
Rochellle Aleck, Justin Andrews, Caludrigo Bianco, Alexander Bullplume, Yemowat Eagleheart, Tamika Heath, Temina Holt-Zack, Ezra Jim, Jacquelyn Jim, Bobbie Lewis, Sandy Lomakema, Davette Lucei-Beavert, Nayha Mills, Wakiyan Olney-Shirley, Noah Pastrana, Eric Pebeashy, Savannah Renion, Kalailah Sampson, Yaanibaah Singer, Lance Stahi, Isiah Strom, Justin Strom, Joselynn Strong, Nicholas Tulee, Tori Wapsheli, Kendrick Yallup-Littlebull.