Klamath Falls, Ore. – In addition to facing the pandemic, the graduating class of Klamath Union High School has also faced other challenges along the way.
When Alex Garcia entered Klamath Union High School in 2016, the school was under demolition for renovation.
“We would be in a big pile of broke down building, at least where we’re standing now.” recalled Garcia, now senior class president. “Basically, the front portion of the building was trailers, That’s how we got called ‘The Trailer Park’.”
Garcia said students eventually adapted to the modular classrooms. “We all kind of miss them. They were really fun. You kind of knew where everyone was, everything was really close.”
Garcia’s senior year changed after spring break when classes shifted online due to the coronavirus.
Garcia believes that may have brought his class even closer together. “You knew you had to get the work done. And you would call your friends, FaceTime them, ask them for help.”
While the class of 2020 won’t get a prom or a traditional graduation, Garcia doesn’t seek sympathy from the community.
“I don’t believe they really, technically should feel sorry for us,” Garcia reflected. “More, kind of proud that we’ve actually been able to get through all of it.”
Garcia also said the class may be better equipped to face future challenges and changes. “You’ve just got to cherish the moments you’ve got now and stop believing that tomorrow is promised.”
Garcia has high praise for faculty, staff, counselors, and custodians. “Just wanted to thank all of them – and also I wanted to thank my mom and dad because they helped me a lot through school.”
Garcia plans to attend the University of Oregon this fall, possibly pursuing a law degree.
K.U. graduation ceremonies will be held in a drive-in format at Moore Park on Sunday, June 7th.
KOTI-TV NBC2 reporter Lyle Ahrens moved from Nebraska to Klamath Falls in the late 1970’s. He instantly fell in love with the mountains, the trees and the rivers, and never once regretted the move.Lyle’s job history is quite colorful.
He’s managed a pizza parlor; he’s been a bartender, and a “kiwifruit grader” at an organic orchard in New Zealand. A Klamath Falls radio station hired Lyle in the mid 90’s as a news writer and commercial producer. In 2004, Lyle joined the KOTI/KOBI news operation.Lyle notes with pride that he has a big responsibility presenting the Klamath Basin to a wide and varied audience.
“The on-going water crisis has underscored the fact that the people and the issues in the Klamath Basin are every bit as diverse as the terrain. Winning and keeping the trust of the viewers, as well as the newsmakers, is something I strive for with each story”.
When he’s not busy reporting the news, Lyle enjoys astronomy, playing guitar, fixing old radios and listening to anything by Sheryl Crow.