Paisley High School will be celebrating the Class of 2021 with Isaiah Negus as valedictorian and Abigail Sanders as salutatorian. The class size will be smaller than in previous years as many of the foreign students who typically board at Paisley were not able to attend the past couple of years due to COVID restrictions. Only four students will be graduating from Paisley this year.

Negus said he was surprised when he learned he was the valedictorian, as he wasn’t sure he was one of the top students academically.

He was born in Lakeview and lived with his family in Summer Lake for a couple of years. After that they moved to Gold Hill, before moving back to the Summer Lake area in 2007. In the fall of 2014 the family moved back to Paisley.

Negus played basketball in his freshman year and did track and field for a brief period of time in his junior year; the 2020 track season was canceled before it began, ending his track and field career. Negus was a part of the National Junior Honor Society, which awards students who not only have high academic achievement but also show qualities in leadership, citizenship, character, and service.

Negus plans to stay in Paisley for at least a year after he graduates.

“But once I do leave Paisley I will miss my family. Also I will miss some of the people that live here as well as the beautiful scenery in the area,” wrote Negus.

He said he likes Paisley and the people in the community as they are nice and things are more mellow than in a big city. He does wish there were more places to go for entertainment, like a movie theater.

Negus is currently working at the gas station in Paisley and plans to work there after graduation while he lives in a mobile home on a property adjacent to his parents. He plans to move somewhere else in the future, though his career plans are up in the air. He said he wants to work a variety of jobs to get an idea of what he wants to do with his life.

Sanders was very excited when she learned she was to be the salutatorian for the Paisley High School Class of 2021; she told her family right away when she received the news.

Sanders grew up in Paisley, and was born in Lakeview. She has gone to Paisley since pre-school. During her time at Paisley she has been part of the 4-H club, and the past year she has been a member of the Paisley FFA Chapter. She has been a member of the basketball, volleyball, cross country and track and field teams during her time in high school and will be representing Paisley School at the State track and field meet.

Sanders said she will miss her family and the community. She loves the close-knit community and how everyone is ready to support each other.

“Everyone becomes family when you are born into such an amazing small town,” wrote Sanders. “When we would have basketball games it seemed like the whole town would show up to support.”

Sanders plans to pursue a career in nursing, and will attend Western Oregon University and major in pre-nursing.

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