Stetson Bennett, Jordan Birch, AJ Borba, Cammie Boyce, Adam Brinkworth sing the class song, "Halls of Emery."
Emery High held its commencement exercises on May 23. Studentbody president Jaicelyn Shakespaere led the pledge of allegiance. Class president Lauren Clarke welcomed the audience of family and friends.
One-hundred thirty-five graduates received diplomas. Clarke said this class of seniors is very extraordinary. There were 13 academic all-state awards. Senior Tappan Draper helped the baseball team to their first state championship since 1982. Andi Smith has been awarded a scholarship to play softball at San Diego State University. More than $223,410 in scholarship money has been awarded to these seniors. The dedication of the seniors showed in the Sterling Scholar competition where three students won their divisions including Rachel Roberts, Tyler Pulli and KC Kofford. There were five runner-ups in the competition. The student council raised funds for worthy causes. "Thanks to the faculty and to Mr. Davis. They support us in everything we do. They want us to succeed. We stand out because we are Spartans," said Clarke.
Salutatorian Bryson Hales said, "begin with the end in mind." Everyone needs to have a direction to go in. A sailboat without a sailor is at the mercy of the wind, blowing it in one direction and then the other. Up until this point in the education process there have been many guides including parents and teachers to help the students go in the right direction, but now it's up to the students to chart their own course. "There is nothing, we cannot achieve, begin with the end in mind."
Hales told the story of Glenn Cunningham. Cunningham's legs were very badly burned in an explosion caused in his one room school house when he was eight and his brother Floyd was 13. Floyd died from his injuries in the fire. When the doctors recommended amputating Glenn's legs, he was so distressed his parents would not allow it. The doctors predicted he might never walk normally again. He had lost all the flesh on his knees and shins and all the toes on his left foot. Also, his transverse arch was practically destroyed. However, his great determination, coupled with hours upon hours of a new type of therapy, enabled him to gradually regain the ability to walk and to proceed to run. It was in the early summer of 1919 when he first tried to walk again, roughly two years after the accident. He had a positive attitude as well as a strong religious faith. Cunningham won the Sullivan medal in 1933 for his various running achievements in middle distance. In the 1932 Olympics he took fourth place in the 1500 m, and in the 1936 Berlin Olympics, he took silver in the 1500 meters. In 1934, he set the world record for the mile run at 4:06.8, which stood for three years. In 1936, he set the world record in the 800 m run. In 1938, he set a world record in the indoor mile run of 4:04.4.
Hales said to do something every day to move you closer to your goal. Rome wasn't built in a day and things take time. Bob Ross starts with a blank canvas when he paints and adds detail one brush stroke at a time. He does this until the painting comes to life. We should approach our goals in the same way and add to it until our goals are reached. Set your goals with the end in mind. Do not let anyone else choose who you will be. "We are our own blank canvas," said Hales.
Logan Tuttle, honor student, told the story of a boss of a large company calling an employee. The phone was answered by a small boy who was whispering. He said his dad couldn't come to the phone and his mom couldn't come to the phone. Pretty soon the boss heard sirens at the home and he asked the little boy what was going on. The boy said in his whisper. "They're looking for me." Let's not be like the boy in the story, Don't hide from opportunity. Don't head in blind folded. A quote says, I would rather reach for the stars and hit a stump, than aim for a stump and miss. Tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today. As we leave Emery High on our way to college, work or missions. Our link to the past is our key to the future. People often worry about what the future has in store. Of what people worry about, 40 percent of those worries never happen, 30 percent have already happened and you need to let go of it and forgive; 12 percent are needless worries; 10 percent are petty and unimportant worries and of the 8 percent of the worries left 4 percent of that you can't change and 4 percent is a result of our own actions and the consequences that follow. We can be what we want to be. Tell the world, we need not fear the future, because we are the future.
Leedan Johnson, honor student, said the last four years have been long. All the graduates have had choices to make. Some may choose to change the world and he admires what they've accomplished. There are many in the class who deserve recognition. Maybe they have waved or smiled at him and made his day better. He said he owes a little of who he is to all the other graduates. Some people may change the world and have their names written in a book, but others are happy to write their names in the hearts of others. Johnson said he wants to live and be happy and have a family, but if you're one of the ones that wants to change the world then when you become a billionaire to remember that you guys were best friends in high school and that you owe him one. Johnson hopes all the senior class will find their niche in life and be happy.
Tyler Pulli, honor student, said they are at a time in their lives where one decision can affect the rest of their lives. Dr. Seuss said you can steer yourself anywhere you want to go. No one should make your decisions for you. Too often we see people who didn't make good decisions. We need to stop and think through our decisions. Dr. Seuss said, "You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You're on your own, and you know what you know. And you are the guy who'll decide where to go."
Pulli said at one point in his life he was letting friends make decisions for him. He said he was giving up his power to make decisions. When he took back this power, things began to work out better for him. Even if you have to find new friends, don't give power over you to someone else. Other people pay no price for being wrong.
If you make a decision, stick with it. Dr. Seuss said, "You can get so confused that you'll start in to race down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space, headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.
Tony Robbins said to stay committed but flexible. Dr. Seuss said, "You'll move mountains, So today is your day. Your mountain is waiting. So, get on your way.
Brendon Jorgensen, honor student, said he has participated in sports and the dedication it takes to participate in sports can be applied to life including hard work and practice. Last year he said he won a gold medal in track in the 300 meter hurdles. He barely beat one of his competitors. This year this competitor beat him each time they raced against each other. But, Jorgensen didn't lose sight of his goal to win the hurdles at state again this year. With some hard work and extra coaching from Bret Guymon, he didn't give up and he had the second fastest time in the trials and ended the year by winning the hurdles in the finals. He was focused on his goal. The work you're willing to put in is the reward you get in the end. Your work and effort decides the outcome. Michael Jordan never gave up, he has missed 9,000 shots, lost 300 ball games, and failed over and over, but he succeeded because he never gave up. Keep your head in the game. Like Joe Dirt said, "Life's a garden, dig it."
Rachel Roberts, Valedictorian, said they have been on a road for the past 17-18 years. The road included: elementary school, junior high and high school. The road now is a new path and everyone begins their own journey. Many people have helped along the road including parents, family and teachers. Teachers have been encouraging and said things like you've only failed if you stop trying. Paths will now lead to college, jobs, careers and marriage. New adventures await at all stages of life along the path. There will be goals and fulfilling of childhood dreams. "We have an amazing future ahead. I'm glad we've made it this far. The road goes on and on, Let our journey begin, said Roberts.