Seaside High School's graduation is at 8 p.m. Monday at the Seaside Civic and Convention Center, 415 First Ave. in Seaside.
ValedictoriansEllen Jean Cochran, 18, is the daughter of Peter and Sharon Cochran. She is senior class president and was elected attorney general of Girls State, served as junior class secretary, was treasurer of the Gay-Straight Alliance, on the Miss Oregon production "crew" and on the school district's Wellness Committee, participated in Key Club, on yearbook and in Link Crew, and has six years' experience in Coaster Theatre productions. She is also a lifeguard, swim instructor at Sunset Empire Park and Recreation District and cake decorator and baker at Bel Lisamo Cakes. Her honors include the University of Rochester Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony Award, Masonic Scholar Achievement Award, National Honor Society Member Award, American Legion Auxiliary Certificate of Appreciation and Girls State 2006 Attorney General Award, and excellence awards in math, P.E., science, English and yearbook. She was on the varsity swim team four years and was captain her junior and senior years. She was a state athlete and honored as "most inspirational" swimmer. She earned a Cowapa League Scholar Athlete Achievement Award, All-League State Participant Award, Varsity Letter Award and Top 10 Academic All-State Award. She played two years of junior-varsity soccer, where she was honored as "best sweeper" and won another scholar athlete award. She will attend the University of Oregon, majoring in either English or journalism with a minor in business. She was awarded a University of Oregon Presidential Scholarship.
Her favorite memory of high school is planning and winning "Airband" during Homecoming Week her junior year. "Everyone loved our performance, and we had a blast coming together as a group to accomplish our goal."
Daniel Copenhaver, 18, is the son of Connie and Jim Copenhaver. He is a member of the National Honor Society and Lettermen's Club. He has volunteered as a Meals on Wheels delivery driver, blood donor, Hall of Fame Banquet assistant, Three Course Challenge cheerer, football camp coach, football video technician, math tutor and PBL scorekeeper. He also participated in Business Leaders of Tomorrow, landing second- and third-place awards in Graphic Arts and first place in advertising. Other honors include a SHS excellence award in science, certificates of achievement in social studies, math, health and driver's education, and the Evergreen Masonic Lodge Certificate of High Achievement. He was a four-year Cowapa League Scholar Athlete, playing varsity football four years and earning four letters. He received a Cowapa League honorable mention, was twice a Cowapa All-League player and was Cowapa Defensive Player of the Year. He received an All-State honorable mention, was Seaside's defensive MVP and overall co-MVP, Seaside's co-captain and Seaside's outstanding offensive/defensive lineman. He was also named Outstanding Offensive Lineman at Harvard Football Camp. He earned three letters in varsity track in shotput/discus, a weightlifter's letter patch and a Weight Lifter of the Year award.
He did not provide a favorite memory of high school.
Joe DeNotta, 18, is the son of Maggie Reel and Duane DeNotta. He is president of the Seaside chapter of the National Honor Society, co-founder and Sergeant at Arms of Lettermen's Club, and was class president in 2003-04. He was selected 2006 Outstanding Chemistry Student of the Year by Portland's American Chemical Society chapter and won the 2006 Bausch and Lomb Honorary Science Award. He played varsity football from 2003 to 2006 and was named to the Cowapa First Team All-League in 2005-06 as a linebacker. He was also team honorary captain that year. He participated in varsity track from 2005 to 2007, and was named a Cowapa All-League Track athlete in 2007. He plans to enroll at Brown University, where he will continue playing football while pursuing a degree in aeronautical engineering.
His favorite memory from high school was Gold Beach Football Camp in 2006.
Selah James Meyer, 17, is the daughter of John Thomas and Erin White Meyer. She is a National Honor Society member and has participated in Key Club, student government and her church's youth group. She volunteered at Vacation Bible School, took three Mexico Mission trips, volunteered for Neawanna by the Sea and for the North Coast Land Conservancy. She has also enjoyed camping, surfing, snowboarding, traveling and hiking. Her honors include a Marlantes Poetry Award, President's Education Award, a math award, and recognition as student of the year in physical education and for "superior effort" in social studies. She was twice voted female class clown. Others honors include four Scholar Athlete Achievement Awards. She played varsity soccer, was captain, MVP and "most inspirational" player, and was selected to the Cowapa All-League girls soccer team. She also played junior-varsity basketball and ran varsity track. She will attend Seattle Pacific University, where she plans to major in environmental engineering with a focus on renewable energy. She was awarded Elks local, district and state scholarships, a North Coast family Scholarship and a Trustees' Scholarship.
Her favorite memory from high school was going on a long-distance runners weekend retreat to McKenzie River.
Mark Thysell, 18, is the son of Ken and Marta Thysell. An honor roll student, he has participated in high school plays and musicals, band and jazz band, is lieutenant governor of Key Club and a Youth Worship leader. His school honors include Best Actor and "Most Likely to be Famous." He played baseball and was named most-improved player. He will attend Duke University to study anthropology, although he wants to write musicals. Scholarships he has received include a $16,000 North Coast Scholarship Foundation award and $1,000 from Samsung.
His favorite memory of high school was hanging up a banner that read: "Boys Golf 4th in State" next to other championship banners in the gym. "It stayed up all summer and into the year."
Kai Nakadate Watts, 18, is the son of John and Keiko Watts. He has coached fifth- and sixth-graders at football camp and taught surfing and snowboarding, fishing, clamming and computer games. He is a National Honor Society member, was Junior Class Prince at the Winter Ball and a scholar-athlete 12 times. He played varsity football four years and was named All-League defensive end in 2005 and All-League tight end in 2006. He played varsity basketball for three years. He was also involved in varsity track for three years and was 2006-07 Cowapa League District Champion in discus. He will attend Lewis and Clark College, where he plans to study biology, pursuing a career in medicine.
He did not offer a favorite memory from high school.
SalutatorianBlake Sumner, 18, is the son of Greg and Starla Sumner. He is a National Honor Society member. He also enjoys reading, surfing and online gaming. He was honored as a scholar-athlete and lettered in wrestling his sophomore year. He plans to attend Portland State University, where he will major in civil engineering. He did not apply for any scholarships.
His favorite memory of high school was watching a friend "climb out a window, run to his truck and drive off while the teacher was out of the room."