Graduation time at Waterville

Jeramiah Preugschat takes a “selfie” of the class. (Provided photo/Stephanie Stibal)


More from the The Class of 2017

In Their Own Words: The graduates reflect on their time at WHS and look to the future

Graduation Time: Photos from the ceremony


By Suzanne Robinson
Empire Press Correspondent

Evelyn Negrete-Bravo, class valedictorian. (Provided photo/Stephanie Stibal)

Waterville High School’s commencement took place June 10 for the 20 members of the Class of 2017.

The graduates were Alfonso Garibay, Johnathan Derrow, Cora Dills, Jose Gamino, Basilisa Jimenez-Hernandez, Drew Koenig, Rochelle Laney, Shaun Marchand, Tanner Marden, Dillon McCullough, Aitana Myrbo, Evelyn Negrete-Bravo, Haylee Newcomb, Jesus Ochoa, Jeramiah Preugschat, Kierra Rainbolt, Jesus Ruiz, Seth Sampson, Lauren Wiederspohn and Brook Wright.

The class motto was “If At First You Don’t Succeed, You Are Not Us.”

Superintendent Cathi Nelson welcomed everyone to the ceremony. Art teacher Damian Smith then gave the commencement address.

Rochelle Laney, class salutatorian. (Provided photo/Stephanie Stibal)

Smith asked a question of the graduates, “Who are you and who will you become?” He also said, “It takes faith to step out and work hard,” adding that “you will fail at some time or another.” Smith then shared a time when he had a failure, but he is still here and all is well. He also reminded the class that people care about them in this community and that “We’ve got your back.”

Waterville’s graduates celebrate following the ceremony. (Provided photo/Stephanie Stibal)

Salutatorian Rochelle Laney addressed the class by giving thanks to several teachers who had an impact not only on her but her fellow classmates.

She said that “we are all on a new journey, and are both excited and nervous. We will miss the laughs, teachers, pep rallies and this community.” She also said that Waterville is a close community and that is a good thing.

Valedictorian Evelyn Negrete-Bravo started her address by thanking her grandparents and parents for all that they have done for her to get her to this point. She will always remember the senior trip, painting of the rocks, and all the fun memories of her five years in Waterville.

The high school choir sang a special song for the Class of 2017 called “I Lived.”

High school Principal Tabatha Mires, Gordon Edgar and Stephanie Stibal, both school board representatives, and Superintendent Cathi Nelson congratulated the seniors and presented them with their diplomas.

The middle and high school band played the recessional and the Waterville school song as the graduates gathered to toss their hats into the air and form a reception line.


Waterville High School’s graduating Class of 2017. (Empire Press photo/Suzanne Robinson)