Monday, December 05, 2022

BFHS Class of 2022 graduates 77

Hagadone News Network | June 9, 2022 1:00 AM

BONNERS FERRY — Bonners Ferry High School graduated 77 students in the Class of 2022 on a rainy day, but the future of this class is bright with potential.

Senior class president Jaden Villelli addressed the graduates and those gathered. His speech was short and to the point.

“Congrats and let’s do something great,” he said.

Salutatorian Brady Hinthorn reminded graduates of the Robert Frost poem, “The Road not Taken.”

“During COVID, all our roads took a different turn and we didn’t see that coming. For me that completely changed my educational path when I realized online classes were the road I wanted to take,” he said.

Hinthorn said that decision made him salutatorian and able to graduate with an associate's degree.

He said at the moment of graduation, the Class of 2022 are at a rest stop leading to many different roads in life.

He said he hoped the Class of 2022 would travel a variety of roads and paths in their future.

“And one day when we are our parents’ age we can look back and say, I took the road less traveled and that has made all the difference,” he said.

The guest speaker, selected by the graduates, was Luke Omodt, who teaches government at BFHS.

He said the slightly rainy graduation day does the best job of describing the four years that this class has survived, thrived and prospered in.

“Four years ago when the class of 2022 started, a gallon of gasoline cost $3.16, we had a different president and the world had never heard of COVID-19," he said. “Since starting at BFHS the graduates have had two superintendents, three BFHS principals, three vice principals, multiple staff members, multiple schedule changes, a complete shutdown of the United States, A and B school days, remote learning, hybrid learning, social distancing, increased security and more.”

“For the first time in American history, some workers were found to be essential and others were forced to stay home,” he said. “Through it all you have persevered. And today you sit here preparing to enter into a world that has changed and it will continue to change.”

He reminded those in attendance of what the Founding Fathers of the United States wrote, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

“246 years later, I‘m privileged to speak to you as you begin your individual pursuits of your lives, liberty and happiness,” he said.

Omodt’s message for the graduates was threefold: gratitude, opportunity and prosperity. He started with gratitude by thanking parents for trusting BFHS staff with their students.

“You gave them to us as freshmen and we return them to you as graduates,” he said.

He also thanked Boundary County for trusting the Boundary County School District with their tax dollars.

“We return to you [Boundary County] young adults, ready, willing and able, to contribute,” he said.

He thanked the graduating class for sticking with their education even through unprecedented circumstances. When school closed, students went to work and continued to work as school re-opened.

He reminded them of the opportunities before them.

“10,000 Americans are retiring per day. There are currently two jobs for every qualified applicant, you are qualified,” Omodt said.

With prosperity in mind and with the opportunities in the U.S., he told the graduates to find what gives them joy.

“Say yes to success and work hard to fulfill your dream,” he said.

“America’s future and your future are bright. You are the proof that there are solutions out there. Every single one of you is essential. Class of 2022, you are ready, now go make it happen,” he said.

Xavier Naranjo spoke in his valedictory address, thanking the community for embracing his family when they moved to Bonners Ferry from Ecuador five years ago.

He said the opportunities, communities, friends and family he’s gained since moving to Bonners Ferry had been unimaginable.

Freshman year, in English class he had to read a book about enjoying the moment. Naranjo said this changed his outlook on life and education. Getting a diploma is important, but the journey has been rewarding, he said.

“Class, this is something I feel should be emphasized more as we go through our adulthood,” he said.

He said achieving goals may not be satisfying, but the journey of achieving such goals might be.

He finished with the class quote. “It’s been real, it's been great, let’s go experience the future that we will create.”

Six seniors graduated with an associate's degree, 28 students graduated with honors, and seven graduates were members of the National Honor Society.

The top 10 students included (in alphabetical order) Connor Kyle Alexander, Elisa Genevieve Maya Balcaen, Cory Lawton Clairmont, Brady Wade Hinthorn, Ethan Jaynes Hubbard, Colton Douglas Hubbell, Sarah Darianna Michalski, Xavier Anotonia Naranjo, Rose Lynn Owens, Sky Louis Reinhardt and Eika Louisa Haviah Willis.

$83,200 were given to the Class of 2022 in local scholarships. The total amount of scholarships and grants awarded to the Class of 2022 was $822,816.

During the presentation of diplomas, each graduate shook the hand of the principal and nearly every senior of Class 2022 handed Principal Lisa Iverson a golf ball. Iverson was perplexed but carried on with the ceremony as graduate after graduate handed her a golf ball with a mischievous smile. Iverson smiled in return and carried on with the ceremony.

Class vice president Bo Bateman spilled the beans to the Bonners Ferry Herald that the students’ goal was to see how many golf balls Iverson could hold during the presentation of diplomas.

The final class prank was slightly foiled as a community member rushed up to Iverson with an empty waste basket in tow. Iverson graciously received the golf balls and placed them in the waste basket for safe keeping.

When asked if she knew about the golf ball joke, Iverson said “I had no idea what was going on. Students just kept giving them to me.”

The community will always remember this class fondly as the class that kept the Badger way with a smile during an unprecedented time. Omodt put it best, they survived, thrived and prospered.

Even through it all, they came out smiling and their joy was felt by the community as well. All great traits that will help them in their future endeavors.

Congratulations to the Class of 2022, their family and friends from the Bonners Ferry Herald.

Photo gallery available online.



Valedictorian Xavier Naranjo gives his Valedictory Address to the Class of 2022.



Salutatorian Brady Hinthorn gives his Salutatory Address to the Class of 2022 at graduation June 4.



Senior Class President JAden Villelli address the Class of 2022 one last time at graduation on June 4.



Some fun decorated caps from the Class of 2022 at the June 4, graduation.



BFHS Principal Lisa Iverson addresses the Class of 2022 at the June 4, graduation.

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