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Front Page » May 27, 2003 » Local News » Graduation 2003
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Graduation 2003

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Students from Emery and Green River High Schools participate in Graduation Ceremonies

Emery High Graduation Speakers, Back row, Michelle Johansen, Melanie Johnson, Crimson Singleton, Front, senior class president, Cadence Tuttle, Salutatorian, Kelsie Anderson and Valedictorian, Meagan Rogers.

Emery High Graduation

Emery High School celebrated its 40th birthday at the graduation ceremony held on May 22 at 7 p.m. Past and present student council members were recognized as well as faculty members who had attended Emery High and then returned to teach there. The audience and graduates recited the pledge of allegiance. Bethany Peacock sang the song, "Danny Boy."

The first speaker was senior class president, Cadence Tuttle who challenged her classmates to set goals and achieve them. She quoted Gandhi who said, "Be the change you wish to see in the world."

Coach Dean Nelson was recognized as the teacher of the year by Melisa Wilson and presented with a quilt and a basket of items relating to France. Nelson has spent the past 25 years as a French teacher and coach at the school and has been a great asset to the teams at Emery High. Coach Dean was a student athlete at Emery and led his teams to state track championships.

Salutatorian, Kelsie Anderson recalled some of the early history of Emery High. She mentioned how the south and north ends of the county combined to form the Spartans. Things were different back in the beginning of Emery High. You could purchase a home for $18,000 and Beverly Hillbillies and Red Skelton were popular TV shows back then. Times were filled with simplicity and peace and then the outbreak of the Vietnam War brought times of protest. "We have been sheltered and protected and now we face successes and good times and bad times as well; you are the captain of your soul."

Honor student, Melanie Johnson, spoke of the turbulent 70s and the changes during that decade; such as the song, "Bridge Over Troubled Water" at the beginning of the decade and "Saturday Night Fever," at the end. The 70s also brought change to Emery County in the building of the power plants and the growing population and additional students in the district. Johnson told a story of a volleyball game she was involved with where she kept stepping aside when the ball came her way. A friend told her to just face the ball. When she did this she was able to hit the ball over the net. She encouraged her classmates to face the ball and not step aside as trials come their way. She also instructed them to serve their fellow man and to fulfill their hopes.

Graduates move their tassels from the right to the left to signify the reality of graduation.

Honor student, Michelle Johansen spoke of the Luddites of England who worked to destroy machinery and progress to keep their jobs. She described resisting change as folly. She described the decade of the 80s as being filled with change and fear of the Soviet Union and their becoming superior to the United States. It was also the decade of the birth of the current graduates. Times of ninja turtles, cabbage patch dolls, strawberry shortcake dolls and also the time of the Wilberg Mine disaster. Emery High has had a goal of excellence for 40 years. Johansen encouraged the graduates to carry forth the flames of the past and not the ashes. She said her Grandpa Johansen had told her that Emery County was just six inches of top soil and seven inches of rain away from starvation.

Johansen encouraged her fellow students to take their seven inches of topsoil and all they have learned to make themselves better. She closed by saying, "Our contributions to the future will show our gratitude to the past."

A song was performed by a girls chorus led by David Bird.

Crimson Singleton, honor student, was next with her address; she described the decade of the 90s which brought the Simpsons and cloning to the world. In 1997 the population of the school had grown to 824 students. EHS won state championships in track and volleyball. In the words of Charles Dickens it was the best and the worst of times. She encouraged classmates to swim upstream, lest they be washed away. She cautioned to approach good times with gratitude.

Valedictorian, Meagan Rogers told the audience the story of two old women who were driving through town. One of the ladies became concerned when the driver ran three red lights in a row. She turned to the driver and mentioned it to her and she said, "Holy cow, Mildred, am I driving." Rogers went on to explain that the graduates are indeed in the drivers seat in regards to their future. With hope, hard work and determination they can prepare for the future. She also told the graduates to be prepared to fail as well for the path ahead will not be all hearts and roses. "Tomorrow is fresh with no mistakes," she said. She encouraged them to dream and to build foundations under those dreams. "Combine knowledge and hope, we're driving and our future depends entirely on us," said Rogers.

Principal Gwen Callahan presented the students to the school board as having passed the requirements for graduation. The graduates were accepted by school board members, Laurel Johansen and Sam Singleton. The graduates were presented with their diplomas and they sang the traditional song, "The Halls of Emery," afterwhich they were turned loose on the world.

Tawni Bigelow, Green River High, Valedictorian.
Brittney Vetere, Bowman Mitchell, Ren Hatt, Tawni Bigelow, Kedric Bayles, Gabrin Ekker, Jason Luke, Emily Swalberg and Stephen Wilske.

Green River Graduation

Nine students from Green River High graduated on May 22 at 7 p.m. The audience was welcomed by Emily Swalberg. Nolan Johnson, school principal was the guest speaker and he said the seniors all had a disease called "senioritis" and had tried to infect the rest of the studentbody. Co-Salutatorians, Ren Hatt and Bowman Mitchell addressed the audience. Hatt spoke of getting along and used his senior class as an example of getting along together for the past 12 years. A slide presentation was next with slides of each graduate from the time of their childhood to graduation day. A musical ensemble was presented by the Class of 2003. Tawni Bigelow, class Valedictorian addressed the audience. Kayce Fluckey, school secretary also spoke to the graduates. Hatt and Bigelow sang a song afterwhich the seniors were presented by Principal Johnson to school board members, Marie Johnson and Royd Hatt. The diplomas were presented and the seniors moved outside to be congratulated by family, friends and fellow students.

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