Round Four: Cleveland 100 year celebration winner… Soren Kennedy

The story behind Commerce’s football field name

By Ashley Lytle, Reporter

Senior Soren Kennedy is the round four Clarion trivia winner!
Clarion photo Ashley Lytle
Senior Soren Kennedy is the round four Clarion trivia winner!

Congratulations to senior Soren Kennedy for being the round four winner of the Cleveland Clarion Trivia Contest. Kennedy was able to correctly state that the Elton Field (the Commerce High School football field) was named after a Commerce principal.

The Clarion posted the trivia quiz at its site online ( and over 20 people gave the question a shot. Out of the five correct responders, Clarion adviser Andy Sorensen picked Kennedy’s name out of a hat.

Elton came from Astoria High School to Commerce High School in Sept. 1919. He didn’t retire until 1948, staying for basically the remainder of the Commerce era.

Elton saw an expansion of the educational system at Commerce beyond that of a training school and moving towards a more liberal education for the students.

Elton toured the country along with Mr. Jones, the district architect, in order to visit schools of commerce to help create new plans for Commerce’s new building (on the corner of 26th and Powell) which began construction in 1929.

The new building allowed additions to the curriculum at Commerce as well as an expansion of new facilities. They were able to continue their business courses while including other classes in areas such as English, history, law, math, writing, art, Spanish, band, orchestra, and gym.

The cafeteria in the new building was extremely well equipped, large, and served Oregon products.

January of 1948 marked the end of Elton’s 29 years as a principal for Commerce.

The 1948 yearbook was dedicated to Elton as well as the Commerce High football field the April following his retirement.

The year 1948 also was the year the school board decided to change Commerce High School into Grover Cleveland High School, becoming a more all-around secondary institution.

Congratulations to Soren Kennedy, Jay Raitt, Leah Cromett, Grace Benefiel, and Jenny Truong for the correct response.