Green River High class of 2014 graduation
Green River High School held their commencement for the class of 2014. Principal Nolan Johnson welcomed everyone to the event. Salutatorian Hannah Manalili spoke to the class and said she moved to Green River seven years ago and she can't believe she is graduating. We have changed in many ways in our years at Green River High. The choices we make now will affect the rest of our lives. You have to take one step at a time. If you work hard, you will be rewarded. I hope you all realize your full potential. I am glad to graduate with you, class of 2014.
Valedictorian Sydney Thayn said some of the things she has learned in school. One of the main things is everyone has a dumb moment. Trying to be cool isn't cool. Teachers actually teach. Before success comes failure. Thayn recalled playing on the girls basketball team. "I was known as the air ball queen." Although I missed a lot of shots I kept trying and I even made a few three pointers. J.K. Rowling said "It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case, you fail by default." Don't sit on the sidelines, go experience life. If you're passionate about something try it. You only live once so you might as well make a difference.
Guest speaker, Pat Brady started with sometimes teachers do know what they are talking about. We've been together for six years. Brady called Spencer Marshall to the podium because it was his birthday. Everyone sang happy birthday to him.
Brady gave each student rolled up papers. After he gave the papers to the graduates he explained the papers contained the lyrics to two songs, the River and I Hope You Dance. You can look at the lyrics to these songs and compare them to life.
Brady read the lyrics to the River. "You know a dream is like a river, ever changin' as it flows and a dreamer's just a vessel that must follow where it goes. Trying to learn from what's behind you and never knowing what's in store, makes each day a constant battle just to stay between the shores. I will sail my vessel 'til the river runs dry. Like a bird upon the wind, these waters are my sky. I'll never reach my destination If I never try so I will sail my vessel 'til the river runs dry. Too many times we stand aside and let the waters slip away 'til what we put off 'til tomorrow has now become today. So don't you sit upon the shoreline and say you're satisfied. Choose to chance the rapids and dare to dance the tide. There's bound to be rough waters and I know I'll take some falls, but with the good Lord as my captain I can make it through them all."
I love the meaning of these verses. This is a scary and exciting time. Don't be afraid. Each of you are lucky enough to have something that makes you different. Embrace your uniqueness. You are heading out its a brand new world. Some of you are eager some are not.
Brady shared the lyrics to the other song, "I hope you never lose your sense of wonder. You get your fill to eat but always keep that hunger. May you never take one single breath for granted. God forbid love ever leave you empty handed. I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean. Whenever one door closes, I hope one more opens. Promise me that you'll give faith a fighting chance and when you get the choice to sit it out or dance. I hope you dance. I hope you dance. I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance. Never settle for the path of least resistance. Livin' might mean takin' chances but they're worth takin'. Lovin' might be a mistake but it's worth makin', don't let some hell bent heart leave you bitter. When you come close to sellin' out reconsider. Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance and when you get the choice to sit it out or dance. I hope you dance. I hope you dance. (Time is a wheel in constant motion always rolling us along. Tell me who wants to look back on their years and wonder where those years have gone.)
Brady compared the students to pizza. All of the students are like different kinds of pizza, but as a whole the students are a deluxe pizza, known as a supreme. Are they not a thing of beauty? You can choose what you want to add to the pizza and make it exactly how you want it.
Brady concluded with a Facebook post one of the graduates shared with him. Recently, I overheard a mother and daughter in their last moments together at the airport as the daughter's departure had been announced. Standing near the security gate, they hugged and the mother said: "I love you and I wish you enough." The daughter replied, "Mom, our life together has been more than enough. Your love is all I ever needed. I wish you enough, too, Mom." They kissed and the daughter left. The mother walked over to the window where I sat. Standing there, I could see she wanted and needed to cry. I tried not to intrude on her privacy but she welcomed me in by asking, "Did you ever say good-bye to someone knowing it would be forever?" "Yes, I have," I replied. "Forgive me for asking but why is this a forever good-bye?" "I am old and she lives so far away. I have challenges ahead and the reality is the next trip back will be for my funeral," she said. When you were saying good-bye, I heard you say, "I wish you enough." May I ask what that means?" She began to smile. "That's a wish that has been handed down from other generations. My parents used to say it to everyone." She paused a moment and looked up as if trying to remember it in detail and she smiled even more. "When we said 'I wish you enough' we were wanting the other person to have a life filled with just enough good things to sustain them". Then turning toward me, she shared the following, reciting it from memory, "I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright. I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more. I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive. I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger. I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting. I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess. I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final good-bye." She then began to cry and walked away. They say it takes a minute to find a special person. An hour to appreciate them. A day to love them. And an entire life to forget them.
Brady then gave the students pizza so they could sit and enjoy the slideshow presentation.
School board member Royd Hatt presented the graduates with their diplomas.
Landen Fluckey concluded the graduation with "The river is constantly turning and bending and you never know where it's going to go and where you'll wind up. Following the bend in the river and staying on your own path means that you are on the right track. Don't let anyone deter you from that."
After the graduation ceremony the students were congratulated by friends and family members.