|Emery High Salutatorian Shontelle Weaver and Valedictorian Katie Reynolds.|
The Emery High class of 2006 has been unleashed upon the world. Graduation was held on May 25 at 7 p.m. The audience was welcomed by senior class president Tyler Swenson. He compared the senior class to the box of crayons they received in kindergarten with the 64 colors. They learned how to mix and mingle colors and his classmates are colorful people as well. "The two separate junior highs with red and white and white and blue combined to become the black and gold of the Spartans." Swenson instructed classmates to be kind and courteous. He said their future is in their hands and to use it wisely.
Shala Pitchforth, studentbody president presented the teacher of the year award to Jim Keele.
The Salutatory address was given by Shontelle Weaver. Weaver instructed fellow classmates to rise to their full potential and do the best they can to stay on their feet. They have built a foundation they can rely on even though the path ahead will be unsteady and rocky at times. She used the fable of the tortoise and the hare and reminded the students that slow and steady wins the race. "Be prepared, go on to higher education, prepare for tomorrow today. If you want something it takes dedication and it requires more than wings to be an eagle. The true value of education is in its use," said Weaver.
An honor address was given by Jasha Hinkins. She encouraged fellow students to finish the race. She told the story of a little boy in a race who kept falling down but would rise again and continue the race. He looked to his father for encouragement. "You're never a loser if you get up each time you fall," said Hinkins. She told classmates to be the one who is there for someone when no one else is there. She told of the many friends the students have had along the way from elementary to high school. She encouraged graduates to let their parents know how much help and love they have given them along the way.
"Get up and win the race, let someone know you believe in them. Good luck class of 2006, you've finished one race now it's time to start a new race," said Hinkins.
Honor student Vic Rosen told how a sports injury gave him an opportunity to focus more on his academic studies than on sports. He had long planned a career in professional sports but a torn ACL playing football sidelined Rosen for the rest of the football season and the basketball season. He said good friends helped him through his injury with a lot of love and support. He learned he was good at math and liked it. He also became interested in engineering. "Trials make an impact on us. A gem cannot be polished without friction. We must adapt to trials and change," said Rosen.
Alexis Swasey gave an honor address. She asked seniors to count their blessings. "We will no longer have to worry about tardies in first hour, we are through with our scholarship applications. Our high school days are gone. We will no longer participate in sports or socialize and learn from our teachers. It's a day to say goodbye to good friends and a day to celebrate. We are so blessed to be alive at this time and to live in this community," said Swasey. She said they will be leaving all that is familiar and will be in uncharted territory. "We learn to appreciate what we have by going without. I learned to appreciate having a healthy body, when I had a sports injury," said Swasey. "We need to express our gratitude for our friends and those who have cheered us on. All the bus drivers, wonderful teachers, lunch ladies and all the people in the community who supported us. We are the future. It is not if but when trials come, we must rise again and be grateful. Celebrate with an attitude of gratitude," said Swasey.
An honor address was given by Kiyomi MacDonald. She said they have been in high school the past three years and asked the question of whether it has been a home or a prison. The only sure plan is that our plans will change and we will learn from that. MacDonald read from the book, "Oh, the places you'll go," she likened the seniors to the journey told in the book where you must be ready for anything. "There are games to be won and you'll be the winningest winnner of all. Sometimes you will be scared, sometimes you will have problems, you will get mixed up with some strange birds. But, be careful and never mix your right foot up with your left. We're off to great places today. Today is your day, your mountain is waiting so get on your way.
"Our parents believe in us and we'll go great places. I congratulate the class of 2006 for what you've done. Move onto your future and move mountains," said MacDonald.
The Valedictory address was give by Katie Reynolds. She began with a story from Alice in Wonderland. When choosing the road you will take you need to know where you are going. She recenly went to a Chinese dinner with friends and her fortune read, 'you are unaware of the effect you have on others.' As she thought about that she said we are often unaware of the effect we have on others. Everything we do affects someone. "Our teachers, friends, parents have helped us become who we are. Believe in your capacity to do good. Do a simple good deed every day. Ordinary people can work in extraordinary ways. It doesn't matter what you make your profession as long as you love what you do. You qualify to be useful to society. There is more to learn. Pursue knowledge. Be well educated and do your best. Manage yourself wisely and plan ahead. Choose to save and not spend. Mismanagement changes a bright future to defeat. A man without a purpose is like a ship without a rudder. You must have goals to reach your full potential. We are born to make manifest the glory that is in us. Reach higher and achieve your potential. Work hard because you want it. Marie Curie said, 'there is nothing to be feared only to be understood.' This is a day of celebration, a milestone. The time spent here we will keep close to our hearts. We do not fear the future, because we the class of 2006 are the future," said Reynolds.
Emery High principal Gwen Callahan presented the seniors to the school board and Laurel Johansen, board president accepted them for graduation. Each senior was called forward and the diplomas were presented.
The senior A Capella choir also presented a musical number called, "And wherever you go."
The 163 member senior class sang the class song, "The Halls of Emery."