North Summit graduates celebrate
North Summit High School Salutatorian Caishalynne Richins believes her class will be remembered for its diversity. She underscoredher pride in that fact by singling out her classmates and highlighting their unique contributions.
"I truly believe everyone in the class of 2013 is great and we are great because we are unique," Richins said during her speech. "We have our own gifts and talents, some of these traits I see in you are; Jacobie (Witt) kind, Kenzie (Wells) artistic, Todd (Wayment) studios, McKenna (Vernon) well mannered, Jesus (Varela) charming "
As Richins listed off all of the adjectives she learned during her 12 years in the North Summit School District, you could see smiles appear on the faces of the 67 graduates sitting on the stage of the high school auditorium when she read their names – never repeating a single word to describe her classmates personally.
According to Vice Principal Mike Calderwood, the smaller-than-usual graduating class has an abundance of greatness, including valedictorian Cameron Smith, salutatorians Jared Bell and Richins, 10 Sterling Scholars, 15 National Honor Society members, two associate degree earners and 13 honor graduates.
Richins list of words wasn’t bland, to say the least.
"This year has a great bunch of students," Calderwood said before the graduation. "We’ve got a lot of graduates that have achieved in many areas during their careers academically, athletically and in many other extracurricular capacities; it’s a group we’re extremely proud of."
Using a formula that combines students’ grade point averages, SAT and ACT scores to determine the speakers, this year produced two salutatorians, a rarity at the school, according to Calderwood.
"We typically don’t have this many students being honored during graduation, but this year we have a lot of students that performed equally at a high level; it’s just the way it worked out," Calderwood said.
National Honors Society, honors graduate and associate degree recipient, McKell Richins, credited the many great teachers in the school district for the graduates’ success when introducing the main speakers for the event.
"Henry Adams said, ‘A teacher affects eternity, he can never tell where his influence stops.’ As a class we echo that statement," McKell Richins said to the crowd during her speech. "We are who we are today in part because of your influence, and we express our appreciation to all those teachers who have helped us along the way."
The three teachers selected for the honorary roles during the ceremony were Cindy Christensen, who taught many of the seniors in the first grade, followed by Joyce Housley, fourth and sixth-grade teacher and Bryan Stephens, the freshman English, band and drama teacher at the high school.
According to seniors Brandon Ball and Mario Carreno, the only word they could use to describe the night was sad.
"I’ve got mixed emotions really," Ball said standing in the hallway of the school preparing to walk on stage. "I’d say it’s bittersweet because I grew up with all of these people and it might be the last time I see a couple of them, most of them actually."
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