Emery High held its 45th class on May 22. The event was held in the Emery High auditorium. Taryn Baker senior class president welcomed everyone to the event. She described the graduating class as outstanding. They have held many fund raisers and collected $1,500 for the Emery Scholarship fund. They took first in region track and girls basketball. They had 81 students take the AP test. One hundred and sixty-seven scholarships were earned by the class. They hosted a food drive where they beat Carbon by gathering the most food. They also raised money for a classmate for a classmate Ryan Thompson who needs a liver transplant. "We are an exceptional class and we can say that we were 'great in 08," said Baker.
Bryan Larsen gave the prayer and Dory Peacock led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance. Kyle Holmes, studentbody president presented the teacher of the year award to Lee Moss.
Co-Salutatorian McKay Allred addressed the audience. Allred told the story of the Itsy, Bitsy Spider. The spider began to climb up the water spout, he was faced with difficulties when the water washed him back down the spout, but the spider began to climb again. Allred likened the graduates to the spider. When difficulties confront us, it's time to start climbing. The spider built his home on the roof top where conditions were sturdy. The graduates, too need a sure firm foundation. They need to go above and beyond their high school education and seek higher education. Allred said it is a proven fact that those with high school educations earn less in their lifetimes than those who seek a higher degree. Even though education is expensive, it is worth it in the end. "I encourage you all to rise above the average. Don't just go above, go to infinity and beyond," said Allred.
Co-Salutatorian Kirsa Merrell's address was on "Reflections." She encouraged the seniors to look forward, but not to forget to look back and remember their high school experiences. In high school they have taken many classes and met many new friends. They have stepped out of their comfort zones and met many new people. Merrell said the graduates need to keep their goals in sight. "As long as we remember where we came from, things will work out. Your reflection is a reflection of these things. Remember these goals," said Merrell.
Honor student, Katherine DeBry said she loves musicals. One saying from a musical she likes is "Get your head in the game." Some of the graduates will be heading to work, college or missions. Life after high school is not a party. It gets harder. She encouraged the graduates not to lose focus in college. Life is hard, but there is no reason not to reach our goals. DeBry said she had watched a DVD about a famous weaver in Ireland who had very famous people want her art work. In the interview she was asked the reason behind her success. The weaver said simply, "When I weave, I weave." DeBry told the graduates to be as the weaver. When you work, work. When you play, play. When you study, study. Give your all in whatever you are doing. Give it all your attention. She gave some advice to college bound students. "Don't procrastinate. Get your sleep. Lack of sleep can cause you to lose focus. Be active, discover your talents. Budget your money. We have all the right ingredients to reach our goals, we just need to bake the cake. Life's successes are ours for the taking. It's the beginning of a whole new quarter of this complicated thing called life, 'Get your head in the game,' said DeBry.
The senior members of the choir presented a song called, "May you always have a song," directed by David Bird.
Honor student, Billie Jean Reed told the audience, this experience of speaking at graduation was a little scary. Her message to the graduating class was you are only given one chance at life, don't mess it up. You are only a stupid sophomore once, you only have to take the AP European History test once. We only get to dress up like princes and princesses at the Junior Prom once. We are only graduates once. Memories, I wouldn't trade all my memories of high school for anything in the world. The moments are gone, the three years of high school are gone. Life will be leading in new directions. It is exciting, but excruciatingly nerve wracking. Put the pieces of your life together, good luck. Have big dreams. Joe Lewis said, we only live once, but if we work it, once is enough. You are only young once, you are only old once, make it worthwhile. You only get one opportunity at life. Take the chance you are given and run like the wind just this once, said Reed.
Honor student, Jordan Sanders encouraged everyone to set goals and achieve them. Have dreams, but the only way to make dreams a reality is by having ambition. Sanders told the story of Jim Carrey, famous actor. At a young age, Carrey was forced to quit school to help support his family. At one time they lived in a van in Canada. But, Carrey had ambition. He wrote himself a check for $10 million and said one day he would cash that check. He did standup comedy that wasn't always well received, but he improved and perfected his act. He began acting in minor roles in movies in the US and the rest is history. He starred in the Mask, Dumb and Dumber and Ace Ventura Pet Detective. At age 32 he cashed that check.
Sanders said his goal is to become a college professor in music. "What are your dreams and goals? Do you want to achieve them? Alrighty then, turn the key," said Sanders in his best Jim Carrey impersonation.
Honor student Madison Jensen spoke on enjoying the ride. School might be tough but laugh and learn and move on. If you're always stressed out, it makes it so you don't enjoy life. Jensen spoke of all the things she was going to remember from high school. The Lagoon trip, JR Nelson in his overalls, dance class, senior talent night, etc. "There are some amazing people and great memories. Because of the people, I have enjoyed the ride. Life can be hard at times, but we can't sit on the sidelines and let everyone else have the fun. Enjoy the ride, but remember to keep your hands and legs inside the ride at all times," said Jensen.
Tamra Luke, Valedictorian, spoke on "Nothing's going to stop us now." She told the graduates they each have their own gifts. She encouraged them to take their talents and abilities and make the most of them. She told of the things her mom had taught her. Luke said her mom taught them to love and be strong. She helped Luke be successful. When Luke was working on her Sterling Scholar she wanted to put her best self forward, but she decided not to put anything in that wasn't honest and accurate. Luke said her father is a hard worker and has been a good example. If the job isn't hard enough, her dad will make it harder. Once this past winter they were trying to get into their cabin, but a snow drift prevented their passage. So her father decided they would dig through the drift. "Everything he does, he does well. One time I hurt my ankle at school and was limping and my grandfather told me to quit limping it wouldn't make it feel any better. My brother was always telling me, don't be a crier. Refuse to be beaten. Nothing can stop us now if we are determined. With hard work, integrity and perserverance, nothing can stop us now," said Luke.
School principal Gwen Callahan encouraged the graduates to go to college and to get a degree. She told them not to be afraid of commitments and to become involved in life. Listen to the advice of your parents. A measure of your success will be in how you treat others who are weaker than you. "Trouble and pain are a part of life, misery is optional," said Callahan.
Board president Laurel Johansen accepted the seniors for graduation and diplomas were given to each student as they were presented. The class then sang the school song, "Halls of Emery." The graduates met with their families and friends after the ceremony for photographs in the old gym.