Green River Graduates “Ready to Fly”


By Robin Hunt

On Thursday, family, friends and community members gathered to celebrate eleven Green River High School graduates. 

The ceremony opened with a speech by class member Liliana Gonzalez. She spoke of class experiences, and emphasized to her classmates, “I hope you put effort into the rest of your lives” and “I hope you choose to be your biggest fan, wherever your next steps take you.” 

Next, Valedictorian Ryder Norman spoke. “After 13 years together, we are now significantly less likely to live in our parents’ basements,” Norman then spoke of past lessons learned and added, “Our education will continue.”

Norman spoke of asking his parents what advice they would give his class. “My dad said, ‘stay out of prison,'” Norman laughed. “My mom said, ‘follow your dreams.’ My brother suggested I take the opportunity to flash my class. I thought that might’ve been funny, but then I remembered my dad’s advice.” 

High school teacher and student council advisor Tawni Jensen then spoke. She shared bits of advice that has helped guide her, such as, “whoever you are, be a good one” and “remember who you are and where you come from.”

Jensen spoke of being proud to be a GRHS graduate. “The world would have you believe that graduating from a small school is a disadvantage; we know better. You’ve had the opportunity to have relationships with teachers, coaches and classmates that may not have been possible elsewhere. Remember, anything is possible with a GRHS diploma.” 

Jensen spoke of the hits this class has taken and their ability to continue to rise. “Nothing in life is guaranteed,” Jensen continued. “The world doesn’t owe you anything. You want a job? You’ll have to work for it. You want a house? You’ll have to work for it. You made it to these chairs and these diplomas by working for it.” 

“We at GRHS are essentially kicking you out of the nest,” Jensen laughed. “But we wouldn’t do that if we didn’t know you could fly.” 

Jensen reminisced with class a little on TED Talks viewed together and discussions on mental health. “Know that you are loved beyond measure, and you will always have a place here.”

Following her speech, there was a slideshow presentation. The presentation of the diplomas was then led by principal Kayce M. Riches.  

Salutatorian Easton Thayn gave the closing remarks before the senior class president led the presentation of the graduates.

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