From Suspended to Accepted: Tacoda Anker is College-Bound

March 6, 2017


Mrs. Cardinal

Tacoda Anker surrounded by his PHS family.

Six years since his freshman year 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 through PHS – from suspension, to dropping out, to returning; the end of a long, bumpy, and epic journey through high school, to be followed by an equally inspiring journey into college.


18 Responses to “From Suspended to Accepted: Tacoda Anker is College-Bound”

  1. Tim Kezele on March 7th, 2017 1:44 am

    Congratulations on your up coming graduation Tacoda. I watched you in your early years in the Key Center area and lost touch after middle school. I know your grandmother Phyllis is smiling down on you for your persaverence. Keep up the good work and I look forward to hearing about your next chapter in life.

    Tim Kezele
    PHS 1974

  2. Tacoda anker on March 7th, 2017 8:46 pm

    Thank you sir! Means a lot everyone who knew me back in the day would call me a hellion, I wasn’t really ever that bad. Just made bad choices that I don’t regret because they made me who I am today and I wouldn’t change a thing.

  3. Lisa Larson on March 7th, 2017 11:37 am

    Way to go, Tacoda! This story made me cry! Keep up the good work! I’m sure you will do fine ! Hang in there.

  4. Tacoda anker on March 7th, 2017 8:47 pm

    Love yah Lisa ❤️

  5. Jolene Resop on March 7th, 2017 2:24 pm

    TACODA, I don’t even know how to explain how happy,emotional and PROUD of you I am. You should walk with your head held high kid you are AMAZING! I can not wait to hear how your great adventure continues. May great love and respect come to you on you journey Congratulations.

  6. Tacoda anker on March 7th, 2017 8:47 pm

    Means a lot Jolene! I’ll keep you posted on the next milestone of college graduation ‍

  7. Scott McDaniel on March 7th, 2017 8:00 pm


    I am so incredibly proud of you!

    I want to congratulate you on this wonderful accomplishment. Your story is inspirational and shows that you can do anything if you set your mind to it. I know that great things are still to come from you.

    I feel honored to be a small part of your story.

    Scott McDaniel

  8. Tacoda anker on March 7th, 2017 8:45 pm

    Mr. McDaniel!! That you are a part of my story. I’m glad you’ve seen the change and hopefully can accept my apology from being such an ass to you while you were my principal. I can guarantee you and mrs. Gable a changed man!

  9. M. Blair on March 7th, 2017 8:08 pm

    I’m looking forward to offering that well deserved and well earned handshake.

  10. Tacoda anker on March 7th, 2017 8:45 pm

    I’m gettin that handshake

  11. Lyndsey Anker on March 7th, 2017 10:14 pm

    YOU DID THAT!!! You have been through so much at such a young age but this proves that you can accomplish anything you set your mind to. I am so incredibly proud of you!!

  12. Brian Wickens on March 8th, 2017 10:08 pm

    I cannot even begin to describe how proud I am of you! We all knew you had it in you and I am so thankful that you realized it, too! I always enjoyed talking with you at Harbor Ridge and I hope that I can be there in June to congratulate you myself. You are a true inspiration! Way to go!

    Brian Wickens

  13. Marci Cummings-Cohoe on March 8th, 2017 10:14 pm

    I knew you had it in you. I am proud of you beyond words. Not every student touches my heart like you did. I’ve been your cheerleader since you left Vaughn. Kind of a silent stalker. Prayed that you would find your way. Congratulations!, I look forward to seeing and hearing all the other things you are going to accomplish.

  14. Marc Ross on March 8th, 2017 10:31 pm

    Tacoma…I couldn’t be more proud of you and your hard work! Looking forward to seeing you and giving you a big ol hug on June 18th!

  15. Mary Farr on March 9th, 2017 9:06 am

    You were in the music room at Vaughn Elementary for years with me. The smiles and energy you had has a kindergartner has come full circle. What a bright future that you truly deserve. I am so proud of you!
    Mary Farr

  16. Melissa Miller on March 9th, 2017 8:59 pm

    Way to go Tacoda! I am so proud of you! And so happy for you!! Keep working hard and WSU is going to love you just like we all do!

    I too am looking forward to see you walk across that stage!!
    Melissa Miller

  17. selena on March 12th, 2017 8:31 am

    is it late to say sorry now?

  18. selena on April 6th, 2017 3:27 pm

    love it

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