Marcus Larson/News-Register##As graduate Erik
Cropp walks in the parade of graduates, his aunt Dani Bowers left the crowd and placed several congratulatory leis around his neck.
Marcus Larson/News-Register##As graduate Erik Cropp walks in the parade of graduates, his aunt Dani Bowers left the crowd and placed several congratulatory leis around his neck.
Marcus Larson/News-Register##During a special
presentation, Amity Principal Chris Daniels awards retiring teacher Karen Fanning with an
honorary diploma and some treats for her dog.
Marcus Larson/News-Register##During a special presentation, Amity Principal Chris Daniels awards retiring teacher Karen Fanning with an honorary diploma and some treats for her dog.
By Emily Hoard • Staff Writer • 

More than 50 graduate in Amity

“Look out world,” she said. “Class of 2015 coming through!”

Commencement for the class, which number more than 50, began with a welcome in English and Spanish and the singing of the national anthem. School board chair Paul Dauenhauer and teacher Vinnie Rolfness addressed attendees, then a group of students known as the Band of Strangers performed a musical tribute.

Woodley-Bunn spoke of fond memories from the last four years. Salutatorian Ralen Van Domelen also offered some recollections, and Ryan Sticka introduced the school’s nine foreign exchange students. 

The seniors wore green hearts on their mortar boards to honor Ariel Dumler, an Amity High grad from 2013, who died in a car crash last July.

“I thought it was a really nice touch that they wore the green hearts for Ariel Dumler,” said junior Maddie Worthington, who volunteered with the National Honor Society to assist with commencement. “Her sister’s graduating, and everyone wanted to do something in remembrance of her.”

Chris Daniels presented an honorary diploma to Karen Fanning, who teaches health, modern living and culinary arts. The majority of seniors and some of the crowd stood when asked if they had taken one of her classes.

“I’m happy for her,” said Brittnie Brown of the Class of 2008. “She really deserves it.

“She’s my favorite teacher. She’s done a lot for the community and was in charge of the daffodil festival.”

Daniels also recognized Fanning’s dog, Albert, known to follow Fanning around the school every Thursday. 

Julie Horn and Shanna Ramos read the graduates’ names and profiles as they were presented with diplomas.

During the ceremony, a group of graduates’ family members and friends gathered under a tent, brought to escape the 90-degree heat. They were there to celebrate graduates Isaac Nance and Mikayla Plumber.

Plumber, granddaughter of Amity’s fire chief, plans to attend cosmetology school in Salem.

“The Pappas family loves you, Mikayla,” said Jonna Pappas, a family friend. “Isaac, we love you too,” the Lee and Brown families said.

Nance’s uncle, Brian Lee, described the ceremony as nice, light and joyful and said of his nephew, “I’m really proud of him, he had a really trying year and showed a lot of maturity.”

The Lees planned to present Nance’s football jersey, number 42, in a shadowbox as a surprise. The new grad will attend Rocky Mountain College in Billings, Montana, where he was recruited to play football.

Woodley-Bunn’s family attended Commencement, too.

“I’m proud of her and we love her,” said cousin Dexter Jones. He and his family drove six hours from the Eastern Oregon community of Malin to be there.

After the ceremony, the attendees entered the school to view the senior projects on display and graduates picked up their Amity warrior blankets.

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