Panthers Celebrate at 2023 Commencement Ceremony


The Pinnacle Panthers were recognized in front of family, friends and peers on Thursday evening during the school’s 2023 commencement ceremony. Fifty graduates were part of the Class of 2023.

The Pinnacle Drum Club began the processional as the students filled the Price Civic Auditorium and found their seats. Graduate TJ McFarland then welcomed the students and their supporters before Mark Stuckenschneider took to the podium for a presentation of the evening’s awards.

Stuckenschneider, the athletic director at Pinnacle High School, recognized four students for their achievements this year. Avree Atwood received accolades for making school history by becoming the first ever state champion for Pinnacle. She took the 1A Girls’ State Golf Championship after an outstanding spring season. Atwood was also praised for her 1A All-State selection for girls’ golf.

McFarland excelled in athletics as well, including an All-Star designation during the fall baseball season, as he was invited to participate in the 1A All-Star Baseball Game. While the game is only a few years old, Kessler was the first ever Panther to receive the All-Star designation. He coupled that with a 1A All-State Team selection.

Continuing, Jonathan Kessler was a force for Pinnacle’s cross country team. He received a 1A All-State Third Team designation for cross country. Stuckenschneider said that Kesslar is one of only two athletes in Pinnacle Canyon Academy history to break an 18-minute 5K.

Finally, Peyton Prettyman was recognized as a military recruit. He will serve in the United States Army following graduation. “To be able to be mature enough to make the commitment with integrity and courage to protect us who are here, back at home, I just wanted to say thank you from everybody at Pinnacle,” Stuckenschneider said as Prettyman received his recognition.

The program then continued with the speaker for the evening, Jessica Barker. Nilz Ortiz also spoke at the podium as he gave the salutatorian address while Jayson Miller spoke as the valedictorian. Continuing, the ceremony included two videos showing the graduates’ childhood memories along with their school memories.

Then, Pinnacle’s Heidi Kay and Melissa Jeppson presented the graduates to the delight of the crowd. Early graduates this year included Brendin Bigelow, Damien Holt, Heaven Huntington, Persephone Jones, Bert Krauss and Ash Whitaker.

The remaining graduates included Elianna Archibald, Avree Atwood, Katelinn Barney, Kaitlyn Behling, Cheyenne Bloom, McKennley Brittain, Ryver Cammans, Daniel Carpenter, Hailey Carroll, Kai Decker, Daisy Dellinger, Christian Dickerson, Alex Ezell, Bry’Lee Howerton Ezell, Devyn Foster, Eddyn Gallegos, Ryker Howell, Elijah Issacson, Azure Jewkes, Jonathan Kessler, Kaiden Krauss, Jeremiah Lain, James Leatherbury, Samantha Longmore, Jackson Marakis, Angell Martinez, Elias Martinez, TJ McFarland, Eli Melgard, Jayson Miller, Darolani Motte, Owen Nehl, David Openshaw, Felicia Ortega, Nilz Ortiz, Ethan Perry, Jaeden Pierce, Peyton Prettyman, Roy Royal, Sheyann Rubio, Wylie Stock, Amileah West, Raine Winder and Raymond Winder.

Congratulations to the Class of 2023!

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