From Suspended to Accepted: Tacoda Anker is College-Bound


Tacoda Anker surrounded by his PHS family.

By Natalie Svinth, Peninsula High School

After six years of high school, Tacoda Anker is graduating from PHS this June and has been accepted into multiple colleges, portraying what Mr. Hosford, PHS Dean of Students, considers to be “the most epic 180” he has ever witnessed.

“My feelings are incredible. Honestly I never thought I would make it this far, it’s kind of indescribable,” said Anker.

Readers may remember Anker from the article “Escaping the Drug Spiral: A student’s account of getting clean.” Anker has been accepted into Central Washington and Washington State University, as well as OC and TCC.

After choosing to go to WSU in order to form a closer relationship with his sister, who was adopted when he was younger, the university paid Anker a unique phone call.

“They said they are really proud of me and have never seen a comeback story like this, they wanted to congratulate me personally. It brought out a lot of emotions in me that I haven’t felt in a really long time,” said Anker.

Alongside the excitement are feelings of nervousness, as this will be Anker’s first time away from the Key Peninsula.

“I don’t know what is gonna happen. But I’m an independent person, so I like to go out and see new things and travel so it’ll be a good opportunity for me to go out,” Anker said.

Anker came from a place of calling suspension “free vacation” to being a semester away from earning all the credits he needs to graduate.

“There’s no way you can get away from doing it – you can’t cheat your way around doing that, you have to be here and be present in order to graduate. I passed all my requirements, all I need is a semester then I’m out, after six years.”

What Anker will miss most about Peninsula is the understanding people and their support for how far he has come. He said teachers who have helped shape him along the way include Ms. Napier, Mr. Hosford, and Mr. Weymiller, to name a few.

“All the years that I’ve been here, I met a lot of cool people and the teachers are pretty cool and (laughter) a lot of them didn’t like me, but what’s neat now is I’ve gotten relationships close to all of the teachers I used to be mean too and all that stuff—and they seemed changed, too, so that’s pretty inspiring…” said Anker. “Having all these people around me who are influential and are inspired by my story, helped me wanna be here longer.”
A father’s approval was another huge motivator for Anker to stay in school and earn all his credits.

¨[I’m going to be] able to show my dad that I’m going to college and really have good grades and graduate and have him see me walk across the stage and receive the diploma,” Anker said.

Along with the diploma will come a long-awaited handshake from Mr. Blair, who refused to shake Anker’s hand after his freshman year, but promised to when he graduates. The anticipated day is soon to come:

June 18th, 2017 will mark the culmination of six years at PHS; the end of a long, bumpy, and epic journey through high school, to be followed by an equally inspiring journey into college.

Read the original story here.