Fourteen students were members of the first graduating class at Washington Engineering Institute, in Bellingham. After two years of course work, the students earned trade certificates in civil engineering technology or renewable energy technology:
Civil engineering technology: Brian Bianchi, Tim Green, Shane Kelling, Corey Lee, George Shultz and Brian Smith.
Renewable energy engineering technology: Dave Dean, Alecia Forrester, Tamara Higgins, Jordan Johnson, Karen Kean, John Lundgren, Ross Thorson and Kyle Willett.
Hanna Kiele, a freshman, was named to Blaine High School's second-semester honor roll with a 4.0 GPA.
Brian Gilda, a native of Bellingham, was promoted to the rank of captain in the U.S. Coast Guard. He had been deputy commander for the Coast Guard's Northern New England Sector, one of the largest in the country, based out of South Portland, Maine.
Gilda is a 1990 graduate of the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn. The son of Bob and Karen Gilda of Bellingham, he is a 1986 graduate of Bellingham High School.
Tyson Foster graduated from the U.S. Air Force basic training program with honors. A 2009 graduate of Blaine High School, Foster was assigned to Keesler Air Force Base in Mississippi, where he will train in the field of air traffic control.
Skyla Savitch of Bellingham was named to the spring semester Dean's List at the University of Idaho, in Moscow. Savitch is a student in the College of Business and Economics.
Cadet Cooper Walker, son of Marc and Mary Walker of Bellingham, was named to the Dean's List at the U.S. Military Academy. A 2011 graduate of Bellingham High School, he will be commissioned a second lieutenant in the Army upon graduation from West Point in 2015.
Nathan Shields, a graduate of Sehome High School and Western Washington University, was one of 97 mathematics and science teachers recently named to receive the prestigious Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. Shields taught at Fort Vancouver High School for six years, then took leave when his family moved to Saipan last August. The family is now moving to Port Angeles.
Three Bellingham students graduated from Montana State University, in Bozeman, this spring: Clifford Davis, with honors, Kaylan Erickson and Hannah Taylor.
Deborah Blakesley, a soprano in the Western Washington University Department of Music, won the American Prize in Vocal Performance-Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Award in the 2012 college/university opera division.
Each year, the prize is awarded to the best performances by classically trained vocalists, based on submitted recordings. Applicants are accepted from across the United States. Blakesley, a native of Blaine and a graduate of Bellingham High School, will receive a cash prize, certificate, and written evaluations from a national panel of judges.
Nathaniel Norton, a Whatcom County senior, received the 2012 Accountants of Tomorrow Merit Scholarship from Larson Gross PLLC, a certified public accounting firm. The $750 scholarship rewards students who have demonstrated excellence in academics, community involvement and extracurricular activities, and who plan to pursue a career in accounting.
As a homeschool, Running Start and international student studying abroad in Argentina, Norton maintained a 3.8 GPA. He plans to attend Seattle University in the fall.
Reach DEAN KAHN at email@example.com or call 715-2291.