Nestucca’s Senior Awards: Scholarship Winners Have Diverse Resumes

Tiarra Thompson and Tea Chatelain – Photo by April Bailey

By April Bailey


Nestucca High School held their Senior Awards Night on Thursday, June 8, and graduation was June 9th. This annual event is to recognize student accomplishments and formally award many of the local scholarships. Amid lovely decorations and underclassmen servers, the seniors and their families have opportunity to reflect on the last four years.

Not surprisingly, valedictorian, Morgan Kirkpatrick, won the most Student of Merit awards presented by the teachers, including the Fine Arts/ Performing. Kirkpatrick was one of the recipients of six of the awarded scholarships (Nestucca Valley Lions, American Red Cross, Nestucca Valley Ambulance, Nestucca Alumni, Eva Noble Memorial, and Nestucca Volunteer Firefighters Association). Miss Kirkpatrick was the only student of the 2017 Nestucca class to graduate with a 4.0 GPA . She was recognized as the only Nestucca student to participate at the state level as a soloist, and a participant in several sports and performing arts.

Nevertheless, the student that received the largest number of scholarships was Tea Chatelain. Miss Chatelain was the recipient of seven local scholarships. She was the only recipient of both the Leon and Bertha Goldberg scholarship and the Nestucca High School Booster scholarship. Chatelain, is graduating with honors and was awarded the Girl Athlete of the Class and Science Student of Merit. She plans on studying to be a physical therapist at Northwestern Christian University, a pursuit that was inspired by her mother’s nursing career.

Following these accomplished ladies was Tiarra Thompson. Thompson was awarded six scholarship, including the Kiwanis Club Scholar Scholarship and the Elaine Belleque Memorial Scholarship. Thompson will continue her studies at Western Oregon University in American Sign Language to pursue a career in social work and foster care. Her course of study was chosen based on her work with a Nestucca Valley Elementary student who struggled with communication skills. Thompson is graduating with honors, and noted for her accomplishments as a cheerleader.

Homeschool graduate, Jordan Whittles was the third highest scholarship winner. He received 5 scholarships. Whittles was the only recipient of the Smith Family/Doryman’s Scholarship, and the co-winner of the Doryman’s Association Scholarship. (Isaak Welch was the other Doryman Scholarship winner, Student of Merit of both Mathematics and Social Sciences). Whittles was the valedictorian of his homeschool group and a participant in four Nestucca athletic programs. He plans to attend Cedarville University as a Biology/Pre-Med student.

Two other notable mentions are Cody Kirkendall and Suzannah Floyd. Kirkendall was awarded the Tillamook County Creamery Association’s Excellency in Leadership Scholarhsip, among several others awards. Kirkendall has been heavily involved in both Nestucca athletics and performing arts. Suzannah Floyd was the sole winner of the Lon “Feet” Nelson Memorial Scholarship. The Nelson Memorial Scholarship was the only scholarship rewarded with roses, a poem, and a song. Floyd has been a member of the softball team, and participant in the several of the performing arts.