Randy Robbins

Gold Beach High School said goodbye to the Class of 2018 after 43 seniors received their diplomas Friday.

The evening began with a couple of numbers by the GBHS Band under the direction of Dr. Christopher White followed up by “Pomp & Circumstance.”

After a welcome and flag salute by Elizabeth Myers the GBHS Choir sang “I’ll Fly Away Home” and “Homeward Bound.”

Teacher, Dana Newdall awarded health care career certificates to students interested in pursuing work in the medical field.

Senior Luke Gilbert, sang a guitar solo “You’re Gonna Miss This” dedicated to his fellow Panther graduates.

The Gold Beach valedictorians — Myers, Avelina Gaston, Paris Newdall and Jaiden McLean — were introduced by Prinicipal Tim Wilson.

Myers thanked her family for their support. She explained that her birth mother gave her the “gift of life” and thanked her for her decision to have her sister raise her. She indicated that while “Mom Cindy could be kind of intense at times, she was ‘better’ for it” and wanted to thank her as well. Myers wanted to thank her father, Steve, for showing her how to take a joke. She finished her speech by congratulating her co-valedictorians for all they accomplished.

Gaston encouraged her fellow grads and the audience to “find something in life to be passionate about.” For Gaston it is horseback riding and thanked a friend and mentor Judy for awakening this passion within her, adding that “in this day and age people tend to think it is cool to have this ‘I don’t care about anything’ attitude toward life — I say go after it 110 percent.”

Paris Newdall, a prolific student athlete in addition to being a valedictorian, kept her comments brief mostly thanking her family and “a small town for being there for me.”

McLean addressed her family and the class by thanking them and “all the spectacular people in our lives,” adding “all the little things you think didn’t matter did and have added up.” The Associated Student Body President addressed her co-valedictorians as “scholarly sisters,” describing the larger school at Gold Beach as a family. “Like in all families, sometimes we, individually, have had our share off differences with each other at times, that’s natural, but I saw people put those aside and come together when it counts.” The University of Oregon-bound McLean finished by thanking family, teachers and community for their support.

This years class earned $95,200 in scholarships and awards to pursue further education, according to Wilson, who was on hand along with the Central Curry School Board to congratulate and hand out diplomas.

Scholarship award winners and amounts were Allen Brandy, $2,500; Madeline Beem, $2,500; Avelina Gaston, $7,250; Todd Halcumb, $2,500; Billee Hiatt, $1,500; Isabella Laurino, $11,200; Mona Lux, $500; Taylor Mather, $1,500; Jaiden McLean, $30,750; Autumn Mickelson, $1,250; Elizabeth Myers, $15,300; Paris Newdall, $7,000; Jade Piper, $500; Beatriz Ramos-Perez, $2,000, Kayleanna Ridens, $6,700; Kassidy Stewart, $1,000; Payton Velasquez, $250; and Trevor Walker, $1,000.