Cheyenne Mathews (Kayhi class of 2016) graduated from the University of Alaska Anchorage Sunday.
Mathews loved UAA where she was the managing editor for the school newspaper, The Northern Light, and said she is thankful for all of the new things she has experienced while attending.
“It’s certainly a tumultuous time to be attending a University of Alaska institution, but I’ve loved getting to know a different part of Alaska,” she said. “I’ve gotten to try everything from skiing to dog mushing.”
Staying in Alaska for college is a nightmare for some, but Cheyenne has found positivity in her decision to do so.
“Staying in Alaska has also allowed me to really understand what it’s like to live in urban Alaska while getting my degree at an affordable price,” said Mathews. “I can say I am graduating without debt, and that’s a statement that seems to be uncommon these days.”
While helping The Northern Light earn 11 journalism awards in 2018, Mathews also placed second in the print-large category for a story shewrote during her internship at the Anchorage Daily News.
“I’m very proud of what TNL has accomplished and I look forward to seeing what they do in the future,” Said Mathews. “I was only at UAA for three years but I did everything I set out to do, and I’m just excited to move on to bigger and better things.”
Mathews is excited to see what her future holds, and has big plans when she finishes her career at UAA.
“I look forward to being done with student life for the first time,” said Mathews. “I have accepted a position with Peace Corps China, and following graduation, I will move to China to teach English at the university level.”
Courtney Kemble graduated from Ketchikan High School almost 4 years ago in 2016. Kemble played basketball for the Lady Kings all of her four years at Kayhi. In her junior year, her team started the current streak of 6 consecutive region titles. After high school, she then accepted a scholarship to play basketball for Centralia College in Washington. Kemble spoke about how she wanted a transition between high school and a 4 year school. “I think that coming from such a small town and school, I wasn’t ready to jump into a huge school,” said Kemble. “I wanted an easier adjustment from my high school life to my college life.” Kemble also noted how basketball played a role in her decision after high school. “I knew I would play basketball right away at a community college,” said Kemble. “This sounded better than going to a 4 year and possibly having to redshirt or sit on the bench for a couple of years.” Kemble chose Centralia because of the small town feel. “It felt like home,” said Kemble. “Every game day, the whole town would pack into the gym to cheer on the boys and girls basketball teams and it reminded me a lot of Kayhi.” In Kemble’s freshman season, she averaged 19 minutes and 4.93 points a game, while in her sophomore season she averaged 28.8 minutes and 8 points per game. Kemble spoke about the differences between college and high school basketball. “It was a lot different than what I expected,” said Kemble. “Coach Smith’s practices were a lot harder in high school. In college, it’s expected that you put in work on your own time.” Kemble also noted the difference in traveling for games from high school and college. “In college, It’s a lot of driving to the places we were going to play, instead of flying and staying for a whole weekend like in high school,” said Kemble. “Coming from an island, it was something I wasn’t really used too.” During Kembles two years at Centralia, she received her associates degree in Biology. After Centralia, Kemble transferred to Washington State University and became a Cougar. Washington State is a 4 year college that is located in Pullman, Washington and has a little less than 30,000 students enrolled. “I knew basketball was over for me after Centralia, but I still wanted to find a school that gave me a small town feel,” said Kemble. “Surprisingly enough, WSU was exactly what I was looking for. I stepped onto campus during a football game last fall and fell in love with the family feel.” Though Kemble got her associates degree in Biology at Centralia, she is now studying accounting at WSU. “At first, I thought I wanted to go unto the medical field,” said Kemble. “After taking a business elective class, I realized that I loved trying to find the business side of things. After taking an accounting class, I found that I really like figuring out problems and numbers.” Kemble stated how much she has enjoyed her time so far at WSU. “I love it. I’ve met some of the best people here and can’t imagine my life without them in it,” said Kemble. “Pullman is a super special place!”
Gabe Bowlen graduated from Kayhi in 2018 and is currently enrolled at Central Washington University. Bowlen spoke on how different the college atmosphere is compared to one like Kayhi. “College, so far, is definitely different from everyday school,” said Bowlen. “No one is around me to tell me to go to class or to force me to do anything. It’s nice to have this sense of freedom that you don’t get in high school.” Bowlen also commented on how much easier it is to take classes he’s planning on using for the rest of his life. “I feel more engaged in my classes because this is actually what I want to do with my life,” said Bowlen. “I think I wasn’t as engaged in high school because I knew some of my classes were meaningless to the next stage of my life.” Bowlen was admitted into the Flight Officer Program, with plans of becoming a pilot after college. “I’m not sure what type of pilot I want to be when I graduate,” said Bowlen. “Either a commercial pilot for an airline, or a corporate pilot for someone wealthy. I probably won’t know until I graduate.” The Flight Officer Program is a class that counts for 18 credits, 15 which are solely for aviation. “They start us off flying immediately. I was a little nervous at first to jump right into it, but I got used to it,” said Bowlen. “It’s a very intensive program, so it forces me to study and do the work. I’m seeing results though which makes it worthwhile.”
Alumni Joey Karlik (2018) is closing in on the end of his first semester at the University of Texas. Karlik is majoring in Radio-Film Television and Journalism. Karlik participates in Longhorn Late Nights, which are live skits and shows done by students at UT. This show is completely run by students. The skits are written, acted, and practiced all by members. The workload is much larger than high school and the difficulty increases drastically. “The workload is bigger but you have more time to do it,” Karlik said. “The difficulty is amped up a ton. In high school, you memorize and apply your knowledge. College is not only that, but also creating and explaining as well.” Overall the jump for Karlik has been very different from high school. The surroundings, classes and work is all new. Karlik thinks college is very different from high school, and it may even be better than high school. “College is definitely a new experience. Personally I think everyone should have it,” Karlik said. “You do have all the adult experiences but with some help and guidance. I’ve only been here for half a semester and I can already tell that it’s gonna be something better than anything I have experienced.”
Kayhi alumni Brian McClennan is having success at the next level. The former All-Conference offensive lineman is in the middle of his third year at Avila University with an offense 2nd in the league in passing yards per game, ranked 6th in the country in scoring, went (3-8) in the previous year and now (7-1) in Kansas. The Ravens are currently No. 21 in the country after beating Bethany College on Saturday. Though McClennan is not a starter he has seen the field roughly half of the games this season. McClennan realized quickly that college ball is very different from high school. “College ball is much harder. It’s harder because it never stops. We have a regular season which is 11 games, so that is about 15 weeks.” That is almost twice as long as his high school season. McClennan spoke about how much the college level demands from its players compared to high school. “We never stop lifting and working out and it starts to feel like a job,” said McClennan. “Football becomes your life and you really find out if you really love football once you play college ball.”