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Mount Si High School Class of 2015 Graduation Highlights

Mount Si High School celebrated its 71st graduation ceremony on June 12, 2015, under sunny skies with the majestic backdrop of Mount Si in the distance. Principal John Belcher led the ceremony and shared many student accomplishments from the Class of 2015 before awarding 356 graduating seniors their high school diplomas. Click here for the list of 2015 graduates.
MSHS Class of 2015 photo by Rick Ehrenberg Photography
See below for graduation slide show.
Graduation Highlights:

179 graduates earned academic honors to wear stoles/cords with their graduations robes in recognition of academic excellence (up from 161 last year and 149 the previous year). The top 14% of the class earned the honor to wear gold stoles at graduation for earning at least a 3.8 cumulative grade point average (GPA); those with gold cords earned at least a 3.5 GPA and are graduating with honors; students wearing silver cords achieved a 3.2 GPA. An impressive 50% of this graduating class met the school’s academic honor roll requirements!

85 seniors received the Washington State Honors Award for placing among the top 10% of the Senior Class in Washington State.

19 received the Washington State Principal’s Scholar Award for being in the top 5% of the Senior Class at Mount Si HS.

Three students earned a perfect 4.0 grade point average (GPA) throughout their four-year high school career. As Co-Valedictorians, they earned the top academic rank in their class and the opportunity to be Senior Speakers at the ceremony.
  • Gretchen Chase is going to the University of Washington (UW) next year and plans to pursue a Nursing Degree and was awarded a total of $350,000 in personal scholarships. She was a cheerleader and part of the squad that was 1st in State and 6th in the nation. She played tennis, is a member of National Honor Society (NHS), and has over 140 community service hours. She has participated in Link Crew, Sports Medicine, and was on the Associated Student Body (ASB) leadership team where she ran the Flood Drive, Foodball and other community service events.
  • Kenon Jeffers will be attending Central Washington University and received an $8,000 scholarship. He is an avid weight lifter, and volunteers frequently at Encompass, logging in 70 hours of community service in two years. He enjoys blacksmithing, metal work, hiking, backpacking and fishing. In 2012, he participated in the People to People Student Ambassador Program where he traveled throughout Europe representing the community and student body. 
  • Mackenzie Popp is going to Point Loma Nazarene University in California to play soccer and to pursue a degree in Kinesiology and become a Physical Therapist. She is a National Merit Scholar, with over 250 hours of community service, involving activities like Special Olympics. She has been heavily involved in school leadership, National Honor Society, and Link Crew. Mackenzie earned $415,000 in scholarships.
Two students achieved the second highest GPA of 3.993 (with all A’s and one A- in high school), earning the distinction of Co-Salutatorians:
  • Benjamin Gutenberg is planning to attend UW Bothell this fall as a direct admission to the highly-competitive Mathematics major program, and he’d like to become a teacher. Ben has been recognized this year as a National Merit Scholar, making him one of the top high school students in the country, and he’s been an active member of National Honor Society.
  • Nicole Mostofi will be attending the University of Washington next year and plans to be a pharmacist. She is one of two Tanner Jeans Memorial Scholarship winners, which provides a four-year scholarship to UW from a local family memorial in our community. She was a cheerleader all four years, a National Honor Society member, mentored freshmen as a Link Crew leader, and is also part of the ASB leadership team.
Four seniors have chosen the career path to defend our country by enlisting in the military services. Noah Hoover, Jackson Philips, and Will Raymond have joined the United States Army; Issac Corichi will join the Marines. On behalf of our community and country, we appreciate and thank them for the service they will soon provide.

One of the highest academic honors in the United States is the National Merit Scholar awards. This year there were 7 recipients who qualified based on high scores on the PSAT exam they took their junior year:
  • Angus Brookes, Callahan Gillard, Benjamin Gutenberg, Wilhelmina McMichael and Mackenzie Popp are National Merit Commended Scholars, placing among the top 5% of 1.5 million students who took the exam.
  • Jessica Brady is a National Merit Semi-Finalist, one of the highest scoring entrants (top 16,000) in the state. 
  • Ryan Hartman moved through the semi-finalist application process to become a National Merit Finalist (top 1% of 1.5 million students) which could land him a National Merit Scholarship.
Ryan Hartman and Kevin Pusich competed at the highest possible level on Mount Si’s Debate Team. After winning first place in several local tournaments, they won the Washington State Championship, placed 3rd at the prestigious UC Berkeley Tournament, competed nationally at the Tournament of Champions in Kentucky, and will be competing at the National Speech and Debate Tournament in Dallas this summer. In addition, they both earned NSDA Academic All-American Awards which recognize students who have earned a NSDA degree of Superior Distinction or higher, earned a GPA of 3.7 or higher, received an ACT score of 27 or higher, received a SAT combined score of 2000 or higher, and have demonstrated outstanding character and leadership within the debate community.

Scholarship awards are key indicators of student success. It takes community support for many to reach college and MSHS has had strong support. The class of 2015 has received an unprecedentd $15.3 million in scholarship money (a 64% increase from last year). Locally, our community contributed $45,000 in scholarships. Thank you on behalf of our students, for the strong community support of Mount Si High School graduates!

Another measure of academic excellence is the number of students that took Advance Placement (AP) courses and exams—which is considered the equivalent of rigorous college courses in the high school.
  • This year, 456 students took at least 1 AP exam (147 of those are seniors or roughly 41% of this class accepted the college challenge).
  • Snoqualmie Valley is among just 14 school districts in Washington State, and among 547 public school districts nationwide, that was awarded a spot on the 2014 District AP Honor Roll. More impressively, Snoqualmie Valley is also the ONLY district in Washington State — and, one of only six school districts in the United Statesto earn this prestigious AP Honor Roll award for the past five consecutive years!
19 seniors earned their diplomas for high school through the Running Start program at Bellevue College, at the same time that they earning 2-year College Associate of Arts and Science degrees. According to Bellevue College, Mount Si High School students earned the most AA degrees of any school in King County two years running.
  • Congratulations to these students who will continue their studies next year as college juniors: Brandon Barnard, Kirk Bateman, Haley Burbrink, Natalie Chow, Sophia Fischer, Emma Gieseke, Tessa Gomes, Shalene Haynie, Madison Jones, Madison Mariani, Wilhelmina McMicheal, Amber McNaughton, Andrea Mills, Madeline Montgomery, Colton Oord, Kayla Scheffer, Princeton See, Katelyn Sundwall and Brandon Whitely.
  • Tessa Gomes earned her AA degree in the Science Track II, which is a rigorous focus on the sciences: Physics, Atmospheric Sciences and Engineering. She is the first Mount Si graduate to achieve this accomplishment, earning this degree with distinction with a 3.5-3.75 GPA.
This year’s senior class had the opportunity to earn 2,884 college credits through Mount Si’s Career & Technical Education courses, with an estimated potential savings of $360,500 in college tuition.

Sara Lamos and Sean Hyland received the Wildcat Senior of the Year awards. Each year MSHS staff recognize two outstanding students who model integrity, pride, leadership, school spirit and service to their school.
  • Sara will be attending the University of Iowa where she was one of 64 students to be selected for early decision into Nursing School based on maintaining a 3.8 GPA. She has been offered $195,984 in scholarships. As president of National Honor Society (NHS), she helped institute numerous new activities and service opportunities, and involved freshmen to start early in NHS. She was also nominated as a Rotary Student of the Quarter this year.
  • Sean will be attending the University of Washington on a full-ride scholarship, as he was the 2nd recipient of the Tanner Jeans Memorial Scholarship. He had a GPA of 3.98, was a four-year letter athlete in track and played football three years. In track, he was part of two new school records for the 4x100 and 4x400 relays.
In addition to academic excellence, the Class of 2015 represented the community well both in activities and athletics. Each year at Mount Si, 800 students participate in 18 sports. This was the first year that Mount Si competed in the top 4A KingCo League, where the competition was greater and the teams much larger than at the 3A level.

34 senior athletes were scholar athletes earning a 3.5 or higher GPA—something the school is very proud of in its athletic program.

Qualifying to compete at State is a great achievement for any athlete, especially in the 4A conference level. Congratulations to the following 7 students for outstanding performances in track, wrestling and gymnastics:
  • Sarah Brevick
  • Cameron Davis
  • Justin Edens
  • Karlie Hurley—broke school track records in the 100 and 200 meter races.
  • Sean Hyland
  • Mark Mulligan—placed 1st in his weight class of 170 lbs., and was the 2014-15 State Champion! 
  • Jen Rogers—went to State all four years in gymnastics, and finished 4th in the All Around competition.
Anna McCreadie and Karli White were named KingCo 4A All-league Most Valuable Players (MVPs) in volleyball and soccer. Anna received a full-ride scholarship to Santa Clara University and Karli received a scholarship to Seattle University.

12 Mount Si athletes committed to athletic scholarships, on National Signing Day. They will attend the: University of Washington, Concordia College, Central Washington University, Saint Martin’s College, University of Idaho, Eastern Washington University, Point Loma College, Santa Clara University, Seattle University, Lower Columbia College, and Western Illinois University.

In addition to individual athletic achievements, several Mount Si teams had strong seasons.
  • Cheer teams, including both the Silver and Red squads, won their State Championships this year.
  • Varsity boys soccer went undefeated in the regular season, winning 20 matches.
  • Senior girl swimmers are leaving a legacy for the school for their leadership efforts to help the school establish a swim team.
Outside of athletics, there were also notable student accomplishments in other activities.
  • Angus Brookes, McLaren Lewis, and Sam Luna earned Eagle Scout awards, the highest level of achievement in Boy Scouts.
  • In the music program, more seniors graduated with four years of music than ever before at Mount Si High School. This class helped music education become more of a central part of Mount Si Wildcat culture—from Pep Band and Drumline energizing crowds, to choirs singing and performing at assemblies and festivals. The continued success of Jazz Band—being invited to Essentially Ellington in New York City for the second year, performing among the top 15 high school bands in the country, and Mount Si ultimately placing 6th at the competition—has been inspiring.
Looking to the future, this senior class has verbally shared with the school that 60% of this class will attend a 4-year university or college; 14% will attend a 2-year community college; 13 students are going to a technical school; 4 students are going into the military; and, 10% have not shared their plans with the school, or are planning to enter the world of work.
Congratulations Mount Si High School Class of 2015 Graduates!
To watch video of the graduation ceremony, click here to view the webcast: