One of the more enjoyable yearly traditions we launched during my years at the Gazette-Times was a series of profiles we would run the week before graduation ceremonies at area high schools: Working with counselors and other staff members at county schools, we identified and profiled students who had overcome significant hurdles en route to graduation. These students weren’t always valedictorians (although I have nothing against valedictorians; my younger daughter was one of 21 valedictorians the year she graduated from Corvallis High). But it seemed to carry a little extra inspirational kick to read about students who could easily have fallen by the wayside but still found the strength and the resources to carry on and earn that diploma.
It doesn’t appear as if the short-handed G-T was able to do those profiles this year. So it came as a pleasant surprise when the Corvallis Public Schools Foundation invited me to write three profiles of remarkable graduates from the Class of 2021 to post on the foundation’s website. The first of those profiles, of Corvallis High School’s Mari Chavez, is up now on the foundation’s website: Click here to read the story. I don’t want to give too much away — I want you to read the story — but I’m pretty sure that I when I was her age, I would not have been able to do what Chavez managed to do this year, working through almost unimaginable grief. There’s a reason why Chavez won the school’s resiliency award this year.
The profiles of the other students featured this year — Javon Harper at College Hill and Ryan Steward at Crescent Valley — will be posted on the foundation’s website in the next week or two, and I’ll mention it in the blog when they’ve available.
And if you’re looking for other reading material to help fill the weekend, consider these recommendations:
If you’re still making your list of must-see movies this summer, you can start by checking out my recommendations for summer flicks suitable for adults. But if you still want to see “F9,” I couldn’t blame you.
If you’re just tuning into the drought crisis in the Klamath Basin in southern Oregon, Mike Baker of The New York Times has a story that will get you up to speed. And Emma Marris, a freelance writer based in Klamath Falls, has a new piece in The Atlantic (the magazine is essential reading these days) in which she outlines a possible way out of the crisis.
And Betsy Hammond and Hillary Borrud of The Oregonian have a story about how state Rep. Mike Nearman, under investigation for letting armed protesters enter the closed state Capitol building in December, coached constituents at a meeting days before the protest as to the exact steps they’d take to get his help to access the building.