By Paul Daquilante • Staff Writer • 

Y-C speaker revists own graduation

Marcus Larson / News-Register
Moments after receiving their diplomas, Yamhill-Carlton graduates Brett Melton, Hannah Reid, and Tobias Mueller pose for a selfie.
Marcus Larson / News-Register
Moments after receiving their diplomas, Yamhill-Carlton graduates Brett Melton, Hannah Reid, and Tobias Mueller pose for a selfie.

“I sat right there, about where Brett Melton is sitting,” said DaSilva, turning to the graduates who were seated on the track.

DaSilva, the staff speaker at graduation, has taught construction, drafting and manufacturing at the school for four years. He teaches in the same building where he attended class as a student.

DaSilva and students naturally greet one another every day. When they do, and someone asks how he’s doing, he often tells them, “It’s just another day in paradise.”

He assured the seniors that if they settle on an occupation that doesn’t seem like work to them, and if they never listen to anyone who tries to tell them they can’t do whatever they want to do, that’ll go a long way toward assuring them of enjoying the best day in paradise.

DaSilva told the story of being 19, quitting college and going to work as a laborer. Needless to say, working as hard as he did wasn’t going to qualify as one of his best days in paradise. It made him realize he needed to take a different career path.

Principal Jim Orth personalizes his address to the seniors as well as anyone can, and Sunday was no exception.

He told them that as most were finishing kindergarten 12 years ago, he was arriving in the district as the high school principal. His hire was a bit of a surprise, as he recalls, because he had only been the assistant principal at Lake Oswego High School for one year.

“A dozen years later, I look back and think about the surprises this graduating class has provided me,” Orth said.

“Hannah Reid’s continuous growth and unfaltering school spirit has been a pleasant surprise,” he said. “Ryan Bernards’ ability to deliver a speech was sure a surprise to me, as well.

“I guess I wasn’t all that surprised when Molly Smith was one of the very few Y-C students to ever sign an NCAA Division 1 letter-of-intent, but I’m still proud of her,” Orth said.

Smith will head to the University of Memphis in September and pitch for the Tigers next spring.

Orth said he got to know Mark Drevdahl and Meli Slater this year, and discovered “they are really cool people.” He encouraged everyone to get to know them better.

What might surprise Orth 12 years from now? He said it could be any number of things.

Brett Melton might head up Special Olympics Oregon, Jake McManus could be a police chief and Valerie Wilson might be a fire chief.

“Who would be shocked to hear that Kasey Stonebarger was a famous comedian?” Orth said. “Maybe Suuzi Vandegrift will be completing another marathon. And I wouldn’t be surprised to catch Josh Secondo in town for a vacation from running his own trucking company in Montana.”

Regardless of what everyone in the class is doing a dozen years from now, Orth said it’s his hope he’s retired and hearing about all the great accomplishments of everyone in the class.

Valedictorians were Reid and Cheyenne O’Loughlin.

Reid urged her classmates to use their imagination as they go forward, and she will remember the class because it exhibited its own style and uniqueness.

“Life is short, so don’t waste it,” O’Loughlin said. “And be the captain of your own destiny. Remember, happiness is a state of mind and not a destination.”

As a longtime educator, Superintendent Charan Cline has attended many graduations, but this one held special meaning for him and his wife. Their daughter, Erin, was a member of the 2014 class.

“Where has the time gone?” Cline said. “We’re proud of what she has come to be.”

Graduation attendees were entertained by two senior musical presentations. Joshua Waterhouse played “Careless Whisper” by George Michael on the saxophone. Jonathon Clark, Isabel Crocker, Drevdahl, Joshua Waterhouse, Justin Waterhouse and Kirk Whalon sang “Rhapsody in Blue” by George Gershwin.

They dedicated the song to current band teacher Frank Messina, Liz Crocket, who is retired but started an orchestra program at the high school several years ago, and Amy Meyer, who took over the intermediate school program and high school orchestra program when Crocket retired.

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