Kenai Peninsula College graduated its seniors from the Kenai River Campus and the Homer Kachemak Bay Campus with degrees and certifications last Thursday, in an online ceremony broadcast on the school’s Facebook page.
Cheryl Siemers, the director of KPC who took over in April 2021, said during the ceremony that she was proud of the students’ accomplishments.
“Whether the completion of a diploma, a certificate, or a degree, you’ve undoubtedly managed challenge and change to get here, and you’ve kept sight of your goal, allowing you to make very hard decisions when needed,” Siemers said. “Tonight’s online graduation ceremony celebrates your commitment to see a goal through to completion well done.”
Sophia Nelson was this year’s valedictorian for the Kenai River Campus in Soldotna.
Nelson, a graduate with an Associate of Arts, said in her speech that Thursday marked a celebration of all her classmates’ achievements.
“We look ahead to the future with cheerful anticipation for what is yet to come,” she said.
Nelson said she couldn’t have finished her degree without support.
“I did not know if college was something I wanted to pursue, but with the help of those around me I found my purpose,” she said. “I’m honored to be standing here today.”
Rosemary Kauffman, a graduate with an Associate of Arts, was the valedictorian for the Kachemak Bay Campus in Homer.
She also took the time to thank her support system. She recalled a time in which she didn’t know if she could finish a project in time.
“I was frustrated, I was tired, I didn’t know where to start with my paper,” Kauffman said.
After some encouragement, though, she was able to complete it.
“I finished the paper and I was able to turn it in, and I got an A on that,” Kauffman said. “I’ve seen it in other places around the campus as well, in the professors who take the time to explain a simple concept … they never show impatience.”
Class awards are as follows:
KBC Directors Choice Award — Rosemary Kauffman
KBC Faculty Choice Award — Casey Tait
KBC Staff Choice Award — Winston Ajakaye and Alyssum Veldstra
KRC Faculty Choice Award Business and Industry — Brandon Edwards
KRC Faculty Choice Arts & Sciences — Sophia Nelson
KRC Staff Choice Award — Ashlyn Kartchner