Sierra Lutheran graduates largest class |

Sierra Lutheran graduates largest class

Valedictorian Brynna Hansen gets a high-five from Matthew Edelman Saturday at Sierra Lutheran High School's graduation ceremony.
Brad Coman

This year celebrates not only a new crop of young adults progressing from high school into adulthood, but also the largest Sierra Lutheran High School graduating class to date, with 41 students.

“This group of kids is very special, and very tight-knit,” said physical education teacher Kitty Murphy, who is the school’s development mentor. “When they leave, they’re going to leave a big hole.”

Collectively students have earned more than $2.6 million in scholarships.

“We’re extremely proud of all of them,” said Karl Moe, father of graduate Craig Moe. “It’s a very diverse group of kids.”

Moe’s son will be heading to the University of Nevada, Reno, to study mechanical engineering.

Graduates prepared in a classroom down the hall from the festivities, and were surprisingly calm despite being minutes away from attaining the goal they’d been working toward for 13 years.

“When they put the robe on, they feel a sense of accomplishment, as well as a sense of dignity,” said counselor Jenny Cochran.

Graduate Emily Hicks, who is going to UNR to study microbiology, helped her friend pin her cap in the classroom.

“I’m excited,” she said with a huge smile before running off to the locker room to assist a friend with her dress.

The school has a 98 percent graduation rate, and 95 percent of the students are going to college after graduation.

After 14 years, the first Sierra Lutheran graduate plans to become a pastor.

Sierra Lutheran boasts a close community, not only for students, but parents and faculty as well. In the audience before the ceremony began, hugs and congratulations were called over the din as old friends came together to celebrate their children’s and students’ achievements.

Because the class size is smaller than the average high school graduation in the area, the ceremony could be more personalized. Goodie bags with each graduate’s name flanked a table by the entrance.

What sets Sierra Lutheran apart from other schools in the area?

“It’s all about the relationships we cultivate here,” said Principal Tami Seedon. “Not only between the students, but with faculty members as well. These guys are a great group; they’re leaders with servant’s hearts.”

“We make sure to find what is a best fit for them individually,” said Cochran. “Starting in freshman year, every staff member makes a commitment to foster what each student is best at.”

The Sierra Lutheran Graduating Class of 2018 are:

Claire Elise Benson

Kyman Chaz Berger

Ruth Johanna Boogman

Madison Michele Braz

Ethan Ricks Brough

Faye Christine Carnes

Adyson Renee Casteel

Avery Brooks Casteel

Cash Masters Casteel

Michael Robert Davis

Bradley Benjamin Denney

Matthew Brennon Edelman

Abigail Baker Ferenz

Aleyna Hanahn Gilson

Brandon Christopher Hall

Rachel Florence Hall

Brynna Haley Hansen

Peyton Rae Hedwall

Emily Elizabeth Hicks

Seth Bradford Houghton

Alexia Rose Hunter

Linsey Rose James

William Paul James-Chappell

Gabrielle Lynn Kale

Craig Stephen Moe

Briana Paige Mofhitz-Faieta

TaylorLee Ryanne Nester

Kamryn Kendall Niles

Zayza Lee Plante

Hannah Popham

Brennan Michael Pott

Jonathan Herbert Ruppel

Bradford Artimus Gamino Shepard

Genevra Nicholette Stella

Austin Jacob Stone

Zachary Albert Charles Voss

Bret Thomas Walker

Matthew Michael Wallace

Sebastian Joseph Zeron

Alexandra Elsie Zoellner