Graduation time at Mansfield

Mansfield School math teacher Ric Bayless and 2017 graduates Maiya Minatani, Jayden Minatani and Taya Backus. (Empire Press photo/Adrienne Douke)


By Adrienne Douke
Empire Press Correspondent

Mansfield School celebrated its 100th year and 99 years of graduations on June 9 as family, friends and school staff gathered to honor the graduating seniors.

Ian Minatani and Abbi Smith began the graduation ceremony with a candle lighting ceremony.

The processional “Pomp and Circumstance” then began as Mansfield’s three graduating seniors — Taya Marie Backus, and twins Jayden Grace Minatani and Maiya Rei Minatani — walked to the stage.

This year’s class motto was, “Go Forth and Set the World on Fire.”

The national anthem was sung by Mansfield School Superintendent Cora Nordby.

Nordby welcomed families and friends of the graduating seniors as well as the graduating eighth grade students to the ceremony.

She then acknowledged the work of school board members Cory Moore, Jesse Shafer, Tara Tupling, Brad Murison and Dusty Wittig and also the dedication of the school staff.

Art teacher Marie Goulet introduced the graduating eighth grade class. They were Kody Angus, Tessa Johnson, Carter Shafer, Eddie Tapia and Xavier Tedder.

Maiya Minatani gave the salutatorian address, encouraging everyone to look beyond their limitations because, “Seeing beyond is beauty.” Minatani concluded by saying, “I haven’t lived here long, but Mansfield will always be more than special to me.”

Valedictorian Jayden Minatani thanked everyone present but didn’t speak due to laryngitis.

Senior scholarships were awarded to:

Taya Backus: Mansfield Scholars Foundation, Lions Club, Mansfield Professional Educators, Booster Club, and George Wilcox Memorial.

Jayden Minatani: Mansfield Scholars Academic Achievement, Mansfield Sportsmans Club, Ethel Poole Memorial, Lions Club, Mansfield Professional Educators, Schmidt Memorial, Booster Club, George Wilcox Memorial, Virgil and Pearl Gustin, and Apollo Club.

Maiya Minatani: Booster Club, and George Wilcox Memorial.

Other scholarships announced were:

Cameron Peters: Mansfield Scholars Foundation, Lions Club, and Brittany Diksen.

Maria Bustos: Mansfield Scholars Foundation, and Lions Club.

James Shroeder: Mansfield Scholars Foundation.

Katherine Shroeder: Mansfield Scholars Foundation, and Ray Lillquist Memorial.

Mansfield Community Band member Leilani Beck presented Jayden Minatani with a piccolo in recognition of her dedication and support to the band.

The traditional Last Will and Testament was presented by the seniors.

Taya Backus said, “I will my ability to push forward in life no matter how hard the obstacle is to my brothers so they one day will graduate like I have!”

Jayden Minatani said, “I will my procrastination skills to Abbi Smith and everyone else at school, so they lose their motivation to do assignments because I want to see if anyone will really take this seriously.”

Maiya Minatani said, “I hereby leave my creative skills to Ian. He looks up to me and my skills, but he has much more dedication to it.”

The senior prophecy was given by math teacher Ric Bayless.

The senior slideshow was then presented featuring the students from infants through senior class.

The Class of 2017 was then awarded their certificates of graduation by Nordby.

The senior roll call was announced by Bayless and the graduates were presented their diplomas by Cory Moore.

The graduates’ plans for the future include college degrees.

Taya Backus will attend Wenatchee Valley College, first earning her AA degree, before transferring to Central Washington University where she plans to pursue a degree in early childhood development. Backus’ dream is to become an elementary school teacher. “You can do anything you put your mind to,” she said.

Jayden Minatani will attend Central Washington University where she will major in music composition. Her dream is to compose music for films and video games. Minatani said, “I’m excited and relieved, I’m looking forward to the next chapter in my life.”

Maiya Minatani will attend Olympic College to earn her AA degree before transferring to Western Washington University where she will major in computer science. Her dream is to become a video game programmer and software engineer. “It’s a huge step forward for me. It’s finally here, and I am excited for the future,” she said

Jayden and Maiya Minatani’s grandfather Owen Jorgensen said, “I have four grandkids graduating from high school this year and it’s a wonderful feeling. These girls worked very hard completing their school work requirements, and I am very proud of them.”

The recessional was followed by pictures and refreshments in the school cafeteria.