Mt. Edgecumbe High School Virtual Graduation Ceremony

by MEHS Staff

Mt. Edgecumbe High School will host its 2020 graduation ceremony online due to the ongoing pandemic. Ninety-four seniors will graduate from MEHS this year and the virtual ceremony will take place at 1:00 p.m. Alaska Standard Time on May 7.

Students have taken multiple photos and videos of themselves in their graduation caps and gowns and the graduation team has put together a video presentation of the event. Students will watch the ceremony from their home villages and communities and it will be accessible from the MEHS website,

The Virtual Graduation ceremony is our replacement event to recognize and appreciate the accomplishment of this milestone in our student’s lives, made necessary by the March closure of the MEHS campus. Students received news from dormitory staff the evening of March 19 that the school was sending all students home in the coming days. Surprised students began packing their belongings and preparing for their quick departure. They received incredible support from the residential staff during this untimely transition.

Students from outside Sitka were accompanied by school staff to Anchorage, where students were received by parents or boarded connecting flights home. Staff worked tirelessly to coordinate an effort to return 400 students to their homes safely. Despite numerous challenging complications created by the Covid-19 pandemic, the transportation of all students was completed in less than a week.

With students now at home, the school has continued its daily class schedule online via Zoom, google classroom and individualized student mail home packets of assignments and materials. Teachers have adapted their normal curriculum to the web-based system as students have re-adjusted to life at home. The remote end to the semester has presented difficulties in learning and in teaching. Students and staff have worked hard to overcome these new challenges in recent weeks.

Despite these unexpected difficulties, this year’s senior class has persevered and are ending the year on a strong note. Staff have coordinated efforts to commemorate the Class of 2020 as the year has come to a close. They have been working to organize a statewide effort to ensure students are able to participate in the virtual graduation ceremony while taking into account the diverse range in students’ locations. Working within the State Commissioner’s Guidance on 2019-2020 Graduation Ceremonies, MEHS staff have been in contact with local entities across the State to help students without internet access view the ceremony.

This year’s MEHS valedictorian is Vernae Ramoth from Ambler, and the salutatorian is Robin Masterman from Bethel. Students also chose two student representative speakers, Adeline Dyment of Bethel and Drew Jackson of Kake. Students voted for Katie Mulligan, the MEHS art teacher, as their commencement speaker. They will still deliver speeches, via recordings. Although it will be an unorthodox graduation, seniors and staff have worked to uphold traditions and adapt to this unique situation.

MEHS hopes its students and families will observe and participate in the virtual ceremony while adhering to State and CDC guidelines. This is an opportunity to bring staff, students and families together as they take time to celebrate the Class of 2020. Viewers will commemorate the brave steps this year’s senior class have taken over the last four years through uncertainty, challenges and obstacles. Congratulations to the MEHS Class of 2020.

Mt. Edgecumbe High School Class of 2020

Jaylee Adams, Mentasta Lake

Ariana Adams, Nome

Niko Afcan, Nunam Iqua

Francesca Akpik, Anchorage

Austin Alexie, Mountain Village

Jeremy Aloysius, Bethel

Jamela Anderson, Fort Yukon

Alix Anelon, Anchorage

Casey Anthony, Nightmute

Luceen Apangalook, Sitka

Lucas Arnold, Sitka

Aana Ayagalria, Bethel

Lloydy Ayojiak, Anchorage

Emmalena Bayayok, Anchorage

Gregory Bourdukofsky, Saint Paul Island

Vladimir Bourdukofsky, Saint Paul Island

William Brown, Kongiganak

Joeli Carlson, Bethel

Michelle Casey, Sitka

Murphy Charles, Newtok

Sofia Comolli, Hoonah

Jonathan Constantine, Tok

Malayna Demoski, Wasilla

David Dock, Anchorage

Adeline Dyment, Bethel

Stephanie Eakin, Kotzebue

Amyaa Edwards-Davis, Utqiagvik (Barrow)

Veruca Etcitty-Ramirez, Kenai

Shayna Etuckmelra, Manokotak

Laura Fields, Kotzebue

Abbie Fish, Sitka

Mackenzie Forbes, Quinhagak

Jaden Frost, Togiak

Iris George, Kwethluk

Brittney Goldy, Nome

Galen Gologergen, Nome

Kevyan Greenley, Anchorage

Jesse Hanson, Sitka

Madeline Hardy, Fort Yukon

Elaine Hill, Chevak

Chad Horner, Kobuk

Matt Hunt, Kotlik

Drew Jackson, Kake

John James, Platinum

Corey Jasper, Akiak

Keith Johns, Glennallen

Caitlyn Kaigelak, Nuiqsut

Mercedes Kashatok, Anchorage

Kayla Kashevarof, Anchorage

Alvin Kimoktoak, Koyuk

Heather Kozloff, Saint Paul Island

Amiah Kroto, Gakona

Jasper Kuhne, Sitka

Leah Lekanof, Anchorage

Courtney Lestenkof, Saint Paul Island

Shayla Loveland, Kodiak

Leisha Lozano, Kongiganak

Robin Masterman, Bethel

Benjamin Melovidov, Saint Paul Island

Casper Merculief, Saint Paul Island

Maggie Miller, Nome

Jasmine Moore, Eagle

Ajey Moses, Chevak

Maliyah Moultrie, Anchorage

Tara Nassuk, Koyuk

Cungass’aq Nelson, Napakiak

Haley Osborne, Nome

Richard Oxereok, Northway

Caley Paul, Kipnuk

Lynsie Paul, Kwigillingok

Kaitlyn Peters, Fairbanks

Justina Peterson, Mountain Village

Latasha Philemonoff, Saint Paul Island

Caleb Phillips, Aniak

Rachel (Wynn) Piltz, Anchorage

Jaden Post, Tununak

Vernae Ramoth, Ambler

Tyren Rexford, Utqiagvik (Barrow)

Eedan Ross, Bethel

Alice Sage, Buckland

Terri Sage, Mountain Village

Nya Schaeffer, Kobuk

Jordan Shugak, Old Harbor

Soren Simeon, Aniak

Nathan Small, Platinum

Paul Springer, Bethel

Aurora Standish, McGrath

Melissa Steven, Bethel

Ravenne Storms, Unalakleet

Shayna Warnke-Green, Nome

Taya Warren, Sitka

Sunset Woods, Bethel

Katharine Zaczkowski, North Pole

Chelsea Zaukar, Sleetmute