It’s rare any school has the privilege to graduate its “Fab Five,” but on Friday, Thorp School said thank you and goodbye to its five graduating seniors.

Tyler Clerf, Dylan Clyde, Isaac Capelouto, Alondra Briseno-Santos and Megan Ultican all smiled as school officials spoke of their accomplishments and families beamed at their graduates, proud of their children’s success.

Andrew Perkins, Thorp superintendent, gave nicknames for each student, reflective of their personality or life circumstance that brought them to Thorp. “We will miss the bear, Dylan. The Sentinel, Tyler. Sometimes if you didn’t move you didn’t see Rambo Isaac. Tree hugger, Megan and newbie, Alondra,” Perkins said.

Tyler Clerf, the Thorp’s valedictorian will attend Central Washington University for civil engineering and applied robotics to agriculture. Clerf also has received scholarships from CWU and will be part of the CWU Science Talent Expansion program, which offers $1,000 toward tuition and he has earned a CWU presidential Merit Scholarship worth $2,000. Clerf was awarded a $1,000 Thorp Scholarship and, for the first ever for a Thorp student, a $1,500 scholarship from the Swauk-Teanaway Grange.

In the valedictorian address, Clerf thanked school officials and parents for creating an environment for success.

“You demanded excellence from us whether we wanted to give it or not. You set the bar high and challenged us to live up to it,” Clerf said. “You dragged us out of bed each morning and made sure we ready for school. You herded us out the door to the bus stop or drove us to school yourselves. You helped us with homework, paid our fees, and listened to our complaints.”

Clerf ended his speech saying the best way graduates could show their gratitude is to make the most of what they’ve received and hope to pay it forward one day.

The ceremony also focused on the achievements and futures of Thorp’s other four graduates.

Dylan Clyde was awarded a $20,760 athletic scholarship and will be attending Tabor College, where he will play football.

Isaac Capelouto will be attending Big Bend Community College and will be in the pilot program.

Megan Ultican plans on taking a year off to work and will attend CWU in 2020 where she will pursue a seismology or geology degree. Ultican was described as never being constrained by the box of conventional thinking and that she possesses a different perspective with the confidence to express it.

Alondra Briseno-Santoshas will continue working on getting her certified nursing assistant degree, which she has been doing for the past three months along with finishing high school. Briseno-Santoshas was described as a poised and confident young lady with an engaging smile and the ability to organize and present messages clearly.

Phil Kern, a Thorp teacher, during the commencement speech said the senior class was small but diverse.

“This senior class is surprisingly diverse for being the fab five,” Kern said. “Two young ladies and three boys full of testosterone and senioritis.”

Kern offered advice to the five students in the form of five talking points. Kern stressed the importance of pragmatism, fidelity, consensus, resilience and character.

“Character is independent of appearance, gender, race, religion or orientation,” Kern said. “Character is determined every day by the words you choose and the actions you take. Where ever you go — there you are.”

As the ceremony wound down, students stood with Perkins, turning their tassels and signifying a step into adulthood for the “fab five.”


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