Looking back, looking forward

10 seniors talk about what they appreciated about Tigard and what they have planned for the future


As the year comes to a close, many seniors are figuring out what the next phase of their lives will look like. Some will be playing sports, and others will be performing in the arts. In email and text interviews, the following 10 seniors open up about what made Tigard special and their hopes for the future.

    PJ Doolin will be attending Southern Oregon University to major in film and theatre. Doolin explained how after he gets back from his mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, he wants to finish up college and become a director or screenplay writer later in life.

    “I’m more excited [for college] really. I am excited to fully invest myself in what I want to learn and what I want to study,” Doolin said.

    However, there are those seniors who are somewhat nervous about college. Morgan Truair will be attending Oregon State University in the fall to study business and marketing in hopes to one day work for Nike.

    Truair said, “It’s strange to think about how I’m going from being the oldest kid in high school to the youngest in college. It’s crazy for me to remember being a freshman and thinking about how far away it all is, and then jumping to now where it’s all I can think about because it’s right around the corner.”

    Over these last four years at Tigard High School, many memories have been made by this senior class. For seniors Alex Larson and Brent Flores, it was how the student body and the faculty interacted with each other. At THS, the faculty makes the effort to make connections with each of their students so that the year goes by smoothly. Larson will be attending  the American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA) in the fall to pursue his passion of dance.

    “Realizing how much wisdom and advice they [the teachers] hold and how much many of them support me. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that our teachers are actually people too, striving to connect and share their experience. As I’ve matured, it’s been so nice to be able to talk to them from a different perspective as more of a friend or trusted adult,” Larson said.

    Brent Flores will be attending George Fox University in the fall to pursue his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. After college, he plans on working for a big company such as Intel or Boeing

    “I think the way many teachers and staff members interact with students really stuck out to me. I think it’s really cool how they treat students with disabilities the same way with others,” Flores said.

    Teachers can be an inspiration in a variety of ways. For Amanda Aman, it helped her plan her future.

    “I’m going to be attending Portland State this fall and plan on becoming a high school English teacher or choral director, not sure what direction I will choose but for sure want to pursue education,” Aman said.

    For others though, it was the experiences that they had over these years that stood out to them. From walkouts to planning events around the schools, Ali Shaw and Sierra Kruse explained how these events have helped shaped a more memorable high school experience. Ali Shaw will be attending Seattle University to double major in political science and women and gender studies. For Shaw, it was the work that the underclassmen have done to make a stand for what they believe in.

    “Seeing that spark of interest and action has really solidified my faith in our generation, and it has been incredibly inspiring to see young girls in our school stand up and speak out with the confidence that I definitely didn’t have as a freshman or sophomore,” Shaw said.  

    Sierra Kruse will be attending Columbia College Chicago to get a Bachelor in Fine Arts (BFA) in acting. Kruse has been involved in leadership quite a bit and explained how coming up with the ideas and putting them together has made her years at Tigard memorable.

    “My favorite memory was the beach bash my senior year. It felt like we had worked for years to be able to have that much fun at a football game and then at a dance. We were finally able to just be a community having fun,” Kruse said.

    This year, THS hosted multiple foreign exchange students. One of those was from Italy. Alberto Basilico will be going back to Italy in the fall to spend time with his family and friends. However, he would eventually like to come back for college here in Oregon. The differences between Italy and the United States was very prominent in Basilico experience. The thing that stood out to him the most was the amount of politics in schools.

    “How much politics is relevant for high school students stood out to me. In Italy, at least 80% of students don’t know what’s going on in our government,” Basilico said.

    As these seniors are about to cross the final finish line and accept their graduation diplomas, many leave some words of advice to the friends that they leave behind. Carson Durdel will be attending George Washington University in the fall to double major in political science and economics. Durdel explained how the underclassmen don’t have to push themselves to the limit in order to get the “full high school experience”.

    “Enjoy your senior year. Don’t kill yourself with a ton of difficult classes. Do what you enjoy, get to know some new people, and be excited that you’ve made it this far,” Durdel said.

     Kynzey Mitzel will be attending North Idaho College in the fall to play volleyball and the get her degree in business as well. Mitzel was involved with many activities such as volleyball and Young Life.

     “Just take in every day at a time. Even though it’s hard to stay engaged, stay involved. You only get to live senior year once, so make it memorable,” Mitzel said.  

    This years senior class was filled with many exceptional students. Academically, athletically, and socially, these seniors made an impact. They set school records and set teachers expectations very high. The THS student body and faculty are ecstatic to see how this class will grow as individuals and to see what they will all accomplish. Congratulations 2018 senior class, you made it!