Graduation 2022

Courageous. Dedicated. Prepared.

These three words epitomize the characteristics, skills, mindsets, and attitudes of our incredible 2022 St. Helens High School graduates. Each of our graduates have persevered through some of the most challenging times in the history of our public education system.

They began their 9th grade year with fresh and open eyes and minds, looking forward to the next four years that would include engaging in academic classroom activities, Socratic Seminars, science labs, childcare with our infants, toddlers, and preschoolers, auto tech, construction, metals and manufacturing, pep assemblies, athletic events and competitions, lunchtime open mics, a myriad of clubs, community service, and connecting with friends – new and old. As it was also my first year as principal at St. Helens High School, I was learning alongside them, welcoming them to their new school, hearing their hopes and dreams, and building relationships.

The beginning of their 10th grade year brought some more comfort in our traditions, rituals, and routines until an unprecedented pandemic brought an abrupt halt to everything during their Spring Break. The remainder of that year was a true test of resilience, flexibility, and creativity.

Everyone came together to figure out what school would look like for the remainder of the year and the entirety of their 11th grade year. When they returned to the building as 12th graders this year, our school looked very different. The original A building was being torn down, half of our classrooms were in portables, we had to establish new systems, and they were the only class that remembered “the old ways.” They had some institutional knowledge and led the way to bringing that school pride back after a hiatus full of uncertainty.

Courageous. The class of 2022 has opened their minds to new perspectives and are confident citizens with integrity. They navigated significant events in history at the national, state, and local levels, including Black Lives Matter marches, the COVID-19 pandemic, and significant legislative changes throughout the country. They lean into these complex topics and listen to understand.

Dedicated. They are hard-working and focused on serving our community. Our seniors have had to navigate learning new technology, have set goals, stayed organized, and demonstrated unmatched work ethic. They showed up to support our community when Oregon was impacted by wildfires by volunteering at the fairgrounds to care for people and livestock. They rallied to provide food for those who couldn’t access it. They catered events for our school district community events and for our team events. They supported each other to promote kindness and respect across our school campus.

Prepared. They are skilled, academically, socially, and vocationally and have demonstrated resilience to meet life’s challenges. Our graduates are ready to move onto the next stages of their lives in college and career. Here are just a few of the programs of study and universities our graduates will be tackling next year:

Programs of Study

As our graduates move forward into adulthood, I wish for them the opportunities to shape their lives into what success means for them. Each of them has the potential for greatness and I know wholeheartedly that they will contribute positively to our society and lead our next generation with sound heads and hearts.

I am proud to congratulate the 2022 Graduates of St. Helens High School.

Dr. Katy Wagner is Principal at St. Helens High School. She may be reached at 503-397-1900.

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