Class of 2021 valedictorians
The PHS Class of 2021 co-valedictorians, from left, front: Andrew Chatfield, Chloe Jurva, Justin Enghauser, Caleb Matthews, Isaac Denzer, Mikaila Saathoff; back: Merrie Follett, Atira Fairbanks, Amey McDaniel, Sarah McDaniel, Audrey Davis and Ada Wennstrom. Not pictured: Annalee Hiebert. (Photo by Logan Hannigan-Downs/Philomath News)

The Philomath High School’s Class of 2021 will make the diploma walk and 123 students will turn their tassels to officially make the transition from candidate to graduate on Saturday at Clemens Field.

The ceremony is closed to the general public with limited seating because of COVID-19 guidelines. Each graduate is limited to four invited guests to watch the event, which will involve a single ceremony at 11 a.m. For those not able to attend, the ceremony will be live-streamed on the school district’s YouTube channel.


Seniors finished classes on Wednesday and followed up the next day with various activities. On Thursday morning, they checked out caps and gowns and participated in a parade to Philomath Elementary, Clemens Primary and Philomath Middle School. The students took their class photo on Clemens Field.

In the evening, a parent-led group organized a parade through the community for a second straight year with seniors decorating their vehicles. Following graduation, the group has organized an “all-night party” from 7-11 p.m. Saturday at the rodeo grounds (COVID restrictions dictate how late the party can last) and senior prom from 7:30-11 p.m. Sunday at the Philomath Scout Lodge.

Thirteen valedictorians

The Class of 2021 features 13 valedictorians: Andrew Chatfield, Audrey Davis, Isaac Denzer, Justin Enghauser, Atira Fairbanks, Merrie Follett, Annalee Hiebert, Chloe Jurva, Amey McDaniel, Mikaila Saathoff and Ada Wennstrom.

All 13 valedictorians achieved a 4.0 grade point average.

Each valedictorian was asked to answer questions about themselves and following is a rundown of their responses:

Andrew Chatfield, son of Janice and Randy Chatfield

• High school activities and honors: “I have played soccer all four years of high school, and received my varsity letter my junior year (two years varsity). I have also been a part of the National Honor Society since my freshman year.”

• Post high school plans: “After graduating high school, I will be attending Oregon State University with an undecided major. I have so many interests, so I will spend a good amount of my summer deciding what I want to spend the rest of my life doing.”

Audrey Davis, daughter of Al and Dawnelle Davis

• High school activities and honors: “Four years of varsity swimming, National Honor Society, track and field, cross-country, advanced manufacturing technology classes.”

• Post high school plans: “Attend Oregon State University Honors College to study chemical engineering.”

Isaac Denzer, son of Hannah Field and Kiko Denzer 

• High school activities and honors: “Cross-country, track, Conserve School.”

• Post high school plans: “I plan to take a gap year, during which time I hope to volunteer with Americorps. After this, I’ll attend Colorado College and major in environmental science.”

Justin Enghauser, son of Eric and Stephanie Enghauser

• High school activities and honors: “Track and field (three years), 4-x-400 relay 4A state champion 2021. Cross-country (four years), 4A conference champion 2021, 4A state champion 2019. Wind Ensemble (four years), state champion 2018 and 2019. National Honor Society (two years), Jazz Band (two years).”

• Post high school plans: “Attend Oregon State University.”

Atira Fairbanks, of Corvallis, daughter of Scott and Elisa Fairbanks

• High school activities and honors: “Four years varsity soccer, two-time soccer league championship, soccer honorable mention for the 2019 season, soccer second team all-state for the 2021 season, two-year varsity soccer captain, four-year varsity tennis, second in tennis districts 2021, second in tennis state 2021, 2021 tennis league champs, 2021 tennis state champs, ASB class officer, 40 college credits already earned at Linn-Benton Community College through the Beyond program at PHS.”

• Post high school plans: “Start working towards a career in diagnostic imaging at LBCC.”

Merrie (Elli) Follett, daughter of Michael and Risteen Follett

• High school activities and honors: “In regards to my high school activities I was involved in our school’s National Honors Society during my junior and senior years. My first two years of school I was a member of our school’s FFA chapter where I went to state in the public speaking competition where I won second. I was also a part of our girls basketball team my freshman year.”

• Post high school plans: “I plan to major in psychology at University of Oregon and after completing my undergraduate I plan to go to medical school and after that I will eventually become a psychiatrist.”

Annalee Hiebert, daughter of Mary and Jeff Hiebert

• High school activities and honors: “Wind ensemble, Jazz Band, National Honor Society.”

• Post high school plans: “I plan to attend Oregon State University to major in music education.”

Chloe Jurva, daughter of Heidi and Franz Jurva

• High school activities and honors: Senior class president, National Honor Society co-president, varsity soccer player, varsity tennis player (state finalist, girls team won the 4A ‘showcase’).”

• Post high school plans: “Attending Clarks Honors College at University of Oregon and I am going to study political science.”

Caleb Matthews, son of Chad and Shelly Matthews

• High school activities and honors: Philomath High School Associated Student Body: president, executive council member, class officer; Charge Forward Incorporated: founder and president; Oregon State University: explainable artificial intelligence researcher; Saturday Academy Apprenticeships in Science and Engineering: research intern; Philomath High School swim team: captain, three years; coach’s award, three years; state participant, two years; Clemens Community Pool water safety instructor;

Rural youth student ambassador, Foundation for Rural Services; digital signage development and programming, Philomath School District; Co-authored: “Doing Remote Controlled Studies with Humans: Tales from the COVID Trenches” (Chase 2021), “Keeping it “Organized and Logical”: After-Action Review for AI (AAR/AI),” (IUI 2020); “Finding AI’s faults with AAR/AI: An Empirical Study,” (TiiS 2021).

• Post high school plans: “This fall, I plan to attend Stanford University to study computer science with an emphasis on explainable artificial intelligence and computational lawmaking.”

Amey McDaniel, daughter of Craig and Laurie McDaniel

• High school activities and honors: “Philomath High School track and field, Philomath High School cross-country, Philomath High School theater, Philomath High School concert choir, National Honor Society.”

• Post high school plans: “I plan to attend George Fox University, and I will be majoring in nursing.”

Sarah McDaniel, daughter of Craig and Laurie McDaniel

• High school activities and honors: I was involved in varsity cross-country, Varsity track, band and National Honor Society in high school.”

• Post high school plans: “I plan to attend George Fox University and study exercise science.”

Mikaila Saathoff, daughter of Bob and Kris Saathoff

• High school activities and honors: Academic All-American first team for every trimester (which would be 11 at this point). I played softball, soccer and basketball all four years, was a member of Jazz Band my freshman and sophomore years, a member of the wind ensemble through my junior year, and I’ve been a member of National Honor Society since the end of my freshman year. I was also a junior class officer last year; student of the month as a sophomore.

I don’t know if this counts but I am a two-year first-team all-conference and second-team all-state recipient for softball and a two-year second-team all-conference recipient for soccer.”

• Post high school plans: “After high school, I plan to continue my studies and play softball at Linfield University. At this point my major is still undecided but I’m considering a major around the lines of mathematics, computer science or possibly physics.”

Ada Wennstrom, daughter of Chris Heider, Kirsten Wennstrom

• High school activities and honors: “PHS wind ensemble (secretary and section leader), Pride Club (secretary), theater (tech), National Honor Society, Battle of the Books, Link Crew.”

• Post high school plans: “Attending Syracuse University, majoring in theater management.”

(Editor’s note: Information included in each biography is based on answers submitted by each student).

Ethan David Abernathy, Lucas Sylvan Ainsworth, Corey Dodge Aja, James David Alexander, Daniel Angel Amezquita, Lydia Arthurs, Yonatan Merino Ayala, Judah Clay Bacho, Jace Tyler Barrett, Zenon Teague Bauer,
Chase Johnathan Beardsley, Mackenzie Brooke Beddingfield, Alixandra Mae Bevandich, Matthew Martin Bevandich, Rachel Anne Bartholomeusz, Issiah Chance Blackburn, Cole Elija Blancke, Garrett Stephen Bowers, Aeden James Brewer, Sydney Jade Burton,
Bryan Patrick Caples, Henry Allan Jung Carter, Jorden Russell Chambers, Katherine Grace Champion, Andrew James Chatfield, Amelia Ann Cleveland, Kamden Rae Combs, Dara Nicole Coon, Ruth Elise Cropp, Sean William Nicholas Cummings,
Noah Robert Curtis, Audrey Ann Davis, Anabella Luca DeMasi, Isaac Obadiah Denzer, Carly Michelle Dowless, Anthony Gene Eck, Kristen Michelle Eddy, Justin Matthew Enghauser, Atira Grace Fairbanks, Nicole Eve Ferguson,
Tamra Renee Fiddy, Wyatt Joseph Fields, Merrie Ellen Follett, Kailey Autumn Fredrickson, Sophia Jane Gerding, Otto Jackson Gilbert, Kirstyn Kae Goble, Angus Cyrus Greggs, Josiah Matthew Gunn, Blane Antonio Guzman,
Christopher Thomas Hamilton, Matthew Joseph Hamlet-McCuistion, Cody Isabelle Hansen, Kaitlyn Michelle Harris, Grant Everett Hellesto, Adam Salvador Hernandez, Annaless Rose Hiebert, Phaedra Bo Hinds-Cook, Maija Kathryn Hilton, Gypsy Sue Anna Hinman,
Tucker James Hopper, George Rolland House IV, Sierra Kim Johnson, Zoee Noelle Johnson, Isaac Daniel Jorgens, Chloe Grace Jurva, Hunter Josef Kaumanns, Jayden Matthew Kelley, Emily Mae King, Neil Wiley King,
Levi James Knutson, Connar Anthony Kohn, Omar Antonio Lara, Jack Tomas Loyd, Christopher Michael Ludington, Noel Elaine Lundeen, Michael Edward Lundy, Brady Allen Magers, Kimberly Martinez, Leslie Del Rosio Martinez,
Sarah Corinne Mason, Caleb Robert Matthews, Jessica Lee McCaskill, Amey Kristine McDaniel, Casey Ryan McDaniel, Sarah Elaine McDaniel, Megan Louise McGaughy, Elijah Connor McLennan, Braedyn Eve McNeely, Melia Richelle Morton,
Austin Harner Murphree, Harlee Anne Oleman, Dillon Luke Olsen, Madelyn Marie Olsen, Ashley Padilla Martinez, Brandy May Paulus, Alivia Rose Pittman, Wade Allen Russell, Mia Grace Rust, Jacob Jackson Rutledge,
Mikaila Marie Saathoff, Lily Kathryn Schell, Christian Bryce Schiedler, Taylor Marie Scott, Caleb Benjamin Shaw, Aidan Waddell Siener, Amelia Lee Skinkis, Claire Alyce Skinkis, Matthew Conrad Slater, Nicholas Merrill Stucki,
Hailey Patricia Sutton, Gabriel Gordon Crandall Turner, Alexandria Janey Tipsword, Biwa Tomono-Duval, Manuel Alexander Trejo Rivera, Emmit Kai Tutt-Lamberty, Spencer Dean VanOrden, Bryan Isaias Vargas-Juarez, Ian P Weickum, Ada Susanna Wennstrom,
Jaden Marcus Williams, Samantha Elizabeth Williams, Matthew Scott Workman.

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