Due to COVID-19 restrictions, Pahranagat Valley’s Class of 2020 graduation was broadcast for all family and friends to watch at home. Although everyone was encouraged to stay quarantined, graduates’ immediate family were invited to sit outside of the football and softball fields during the unique ceremony.
The girls walked down the aisle on the football field and the boys walked down the softball field into their seated areas. Valedictorian Kami Stirling opened the ceremony by reading the order of speeches and musical numbers. Afterward, Atlanta Mastin sang the national anthem. Mike Sparrow then introduced Stirling as the valedictorian.
Stirling started her talk by sharing a memory about each of her classmates. She talked about how much COVID-19 had affected this year’s senior class and how much she hopes throughout this pandemic that all will hold their heads up.
Co-salutatorian John Hansen was the second speaker. He used “Star Wars” as a metaphor for the senior class, taking parts of the movie and its characters and comparing them to each senior, memory and challenge. Hansen ended by thanking his family, peers and teachers.
The last student speaker was co-salutatorian Cody Hatch. He discussed his goals, challenges and shared a story that related to the senior class. He ended his talk advising students to have goals and become who they want to be.
After the student speeches, a musical production number was sung by Atlanta Mastin. Preston Higbee then introduced guest speaker Brian Higbee, Pahranagat Valley Elementary’s principal.
Higbee started his talk with a note to the parents about how much their kids have grown up and how fast life goes by. He gave the seniors some advice about rising through trials and challenges. Higbee quoted Michelangelo and said, “Life is 10 percent of what happened to you and 90 percent of how you respond and process your reality.” He shared a personal story of being close to the senior class not only because he was one of the football coaches but because his son was in this class. Higbee shared how special these seniors were and how much compassion he had for them. In closing, he told students how proud everyone was of them.
Scholarships were then handed out by Emily Frehner and diplomas were awarded.
The ceremonies ended with a speech by Principal Mike Strong. He congratulated the seniors for finishing their schooling and expressed how much he appreciated this community and the people in it. The tassels were turned and the caps were thrown. The class of 2020 had graduated.