|Kesler Tanner, Emery High Valedictorian addresses the audience.||Brittanie Clarke is the Salutatorian for Emery High.|
|Savannah Bayles, co-Valedictorian for Green River High.||McKenzie Spadafora, co-Valedictorian for Green River High.|
Emery High graduates and their parents and families gathered in the auditorium for graduation exercises on May 24. There were 148 students graduating from Emery High. Bryan Ison, senior class vice president, welcomed all the parents, family, special guests, the school board members, faculty and staff.
“This is the 44th class to graduate from Emery High,” Ison said. “We welcome you to the auditorium for this graduation instead of the Spartan Center. We felt it would make for a more respectful atmosphere than in a gymnasium. As a part of the program tonight, we would like everyone to remember Dallas Allred, our classmate who passed away this year.”
Kesler Tanner announced several awards. “We usually give a teacher of the year award, but this year we would like to give a counselor of the year award. Adele Huntington has helped students receive more than $1 million in scholarships during her time here at Emery High.” Huntington is retiring this year, and was given a quilt.
Tanner went on to recognize Kelly Alton. “Mr. Alton has taught for 23 years. He has been a teacher, librarian, and assistant principal,” said Tanner. Alton was also given a quilt, and this is his last year at Emery.
Class salutatorian Brittanie Clarke spoke and thanked her parents for all they have done. “We didn’t do this alone, there are parents, many teachers, friends, counselors and advisors who have helped us get to this point,” she stated.
Shalae Cox, an honor student at Emery High, spoke next. She spoke about leaving the nest. “Human beings are the only species that raise their young, the young leave, and sometimes they come back. About 40 percent of those who leave, return one day.” She wondered if all of the graduates were really ready to fly. “We are graduating, not finishing. The real courage is not in the winning, but it is in the trying,” she concluded.
Dare to Dream Big was the topic of Camille Fehlberg’s comments. “I’ve always dreamed about winning state in the hurdles. Last week I had that opportunity. All of the graduates here tonight have dreams,” she said. “We can’t make our dreams come true by ourselves.” She said many people help and encourage us along the way including coaches, parents, teachers and counselors.
|Sam Singleton presents Malorie Quick with her diploma.|
Senior class president Amy Lofley related the story of how two years ago when this class were sophomores, the administration called them together and told them they were the worst class they had ever seen. “I found this hard to believe considering Darrell Gardner, Neal Peacock and Kevin Reynolds had gone to school here,” she said. She then went on to list the accomplishments of the Class of 2007 and concluded they didn’t turn out too bad. “I’m proud to be a part of the best class ever.”
The Valedictory address was given by Kesler Tanner. He told of being a member of the baseball team which went to the state competition last week and no one expected them to win anything. “Stephen Giles always says before a game that somebody has to win, why not us?” said Tanner. “We dared to struggle, now dare to win.”
Principal Gwen Callahan presented the graduating class to the school board saying, “These students have met the standards for graduation.” Laurel Johansen, president of the school board accepted the class for graduation.
Johansen and board member Sam Singleton presented diplomas to the Class of 2007.
Following the awarding of diplomas, Callahan told the students, “I want to leave you with five things. Number one, listen to your parents and go to college. Number two, don’t be afraid to make commitments. Number three, be merciful. Number four is you must give the most to get the most. Number five is to remember that trouble and pain are a part of life, and everyone will experience some of them. Good luck in the future,” concluded Callahan.
The graduates met in the old gym with family and friends for photos and the graduation party began at Cheddar Field following commencement.
|Kaleb Fail receives his diploma.|
Green River High
Graduation is always a bittersweet experience. The graduate is filled with excitement for the future, but always feels a bit apprehensive in leaving the past behind. This graduation is especially poignant for the Green River High class of 2007. They are dealing with the loss of a close friend, Jace Vetere who passed away recently from a motorcycle accident. As they prepare to step into their future, they want everyone and Jace to know he will never be forgotten.
Green River is a close knit community and everyone turns out for every activity and event. The graduation is no exception as the entire village shared in the experience of preparing these students to face the world.
The class of 2007 entered the auditorium and took their places on stage. Parker Hatt, class president welcomed everyone. Hatt recited the class motto which is: “Our lives are before us. Our past is behind us. But, our memories are forever with us.” Hatt said their class will always hold the memory of Jace strong in their hearts. He introduced the class Salutatorian, Abigail Dunham who spoke, “We all have the ability to make a difference. We have the opportunity to change the world.” Dunham cautioned her classmates not to pick up the motto, that other people’s problems are other peoples problems. “Sometimes we get lost in our own little world. Life is sometimes compared to a journey. I picture this journey being taken in a boat; trying to find our golden dreams before we sink. The most important thing is who we throw life jackets to along the way. For those people, you did change the world. The most valuable thing we have is our time, use it to help others,” said Dunham.
Dunham told the story of a young girl she had met in Nepal. She had been born unwanted, the result of an unplanned pregnancy. A lady asked the mom if she could take the baby to the childrens home and the mother granted permission. There the child would receive the medical attention required. The young girl didn’t have a name so the lady named her Shristi which means creation in Nepali. Dunham speculated the young girl would never have survived if someone hadn’t taken the time to get involved and help the young girl to have a better life. Shristi still lives in the childrens home. “When you see a need, then act. You have changed the world. Everyone has the ability to make a difference,” said Dunham.
McKenzie Spadafora, class Valedictorian spoke next. She said her feelings were bittersweet as they close the volume on this book of their lives and begin another. She said, “I am filled with pride to be part of the class of 2007. It has been an honor to rub shoulders with you. We will be moving away from our support system. It is bittersweet because we don’t know if or when our paths will cross again. I went to Google for help in giving you advice. Remember compliments and forget insults; read the directions even if you don’t plan to follow them; wear sunscreen,”
Spadafora said their futures lie before them like freshly fallen snow. Every step they take will show. Don’t live down to someone else’s expectations of you. Do something remarkable. She quoted the lines of a song from the Broadway show, Wicked. It tells that everyone comes into our lives for a reason. Though we may never meet again. So much of me is what I made from you, because you have placed a hand print on my heart. I have been changed for the good, because I knew you, concluded Spadafora.
Savannah Bayles, class Valedictorian said it’s what lies within us that is important. Everyone will take their personal strengths and carry them forward in their next phase of life. She told the story of an eagle who had been raised by chickens and believed himself to be a chicken. One day he saw a band of proud eagles flying over and he wished to soar with them, but his chicken companions told him he would never be anything but a chicken and to forget his dream to fly with the eagles, because chickens don’t fly. The eagle died a chicken. You become what you dream, follow your dreams; don’t be a chicken. Windows of knowledge and opportunity abound, don’t remain a chicken. Set your aim high, strengthen yourself.
“With our bond of friendship we have pulled through adversity, we have known joys, we have grown. In our hearts we will always be the class of 2007 and no one will be forgotten. Our lives are before us. Our past is behind us. But our memories are forever with us,” said Bayles.
The senior class sang a song, ‘Keep Holding On’ and a slide show was presented which was prepared by Kalynn Fail. A special picture tribute to Jace Vetere was part of the presentation.
Principal Nolan Johnson presented the diplomas to the class of 2007. A diploma was also presented to Timothy Jace Vetere and accepted by Tim Vetere. School Board member Royd Hatt accepted each of the graduates. The graduates then lined up outside the building where friends and family congratulated the graduates.