Sunday, June 16, 2024

79 graduate from the Class of 2024

Staff Writer | June 6, 2024 1:00 AM

BONNERS FERRY — Their determination, resilience and courage have left a lasting impression on those around them.

“Your resilience in the face of change, your unwavering determination to achieve your goals and your courage to stand up to what you believe in have left a lasting impression on me,” guest speaker Jaycee Atkins, Gear Up college and career coordinator for Boundary County School District, told the 79 members of the Class of 2024 at Saturday’s graduation. 

“Fifteen years ago I stood right here on this very stage, filled with the same mix of excitement and uncertainty that you are experiencing today,” she said. “This place, these halls, this community have a way of shaping you, and of installing a sense of purpose and direction that often reviews itself in the most unexpected ways.” 

Those qualities will serve them well as they move into the future, she said.

“As you move forward, remember the strength you have shown during your time here,” Atkins said. “Embrace the challenges that come your way with the same tenacity and spirit that you have displayed throughout these years.”

She told graduates that the ceremony marks the end of one chapter and the beginning of another. It is a time to celebrate both the Class of 2024’s achievements and look ahead in anticipation of their futures 

“Congrats Class of 2024, go forth with courage, passion and relentless drive, and make your dreams a reality, the future is yours,” Atkins said, choking up as she finished speaking. 

Senior class president Lindsey Onstott said during her speech, after being asked all year what she was going to do after high school, she realized that the 12 years of her childhood — and those of her classmates — to decide how they will start the rest of their lives. 

“I want to encourage you all to chase your biggest goals,” she said. “Not guided by the judgment or opinion of others, but the feeling in your gut and the drive in your soul. Have faith in your choices, for they may set you back but nothing can ever stop you.” 

She reminded her classmates to not be strangers and to stay in touch with each other throughout life and milestones, even if they haven’t been close during their time at BFHS. 

“Today is the day we get to celebrate the culmination of our high school career,” salutatorian Braylyn Bayer said during her speech. 

Bayer reminded the Class of 2024 all that they went through freshman year, split shifts and quarantines all during COVID-19. 

Since then, the Class of 2024 has gone to show their athletic prowess, with five grads set to compete at the collegiate level, and many others receiving state and North Idaho honors. Additionally, they have thrived academically, with several working toward associate degrees at North Idaho College while at BFHS. 

“As we stand at the brink of a new chapter, let's take a moment to appreciate the journey we’ve all shared,” she said. “High school has been a time of growth, challenges and unforgettable memories.”

She added that their time at BFHS has prepared them for what comes next and are taking a piece of Bonners Ferry with them ready to show the world what they are made of. 

In his speech, valedictorian Damon Madson reminded the class that their last graduation, eighth grade, had taken place during the pandemic and, instead of sitting before their friends and families as they are now, it was conducted in a drive-through manner. At this commencement, Madson told his classmates he is able to see all of them instead of what could be seen from the front seat of a car. 

He reminded the Class of 2024 of the hardships they faced in learning due to restrictions during COVID, but that they are capable of greatness. 

Madson reminded the Class of 2024, the Chrsitpoher Robin quote from A.A. Milne’s “Winnie the Pooh”: “You’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”

Of the Class of 2024, five will be going off to serve in the U.S military — Ana Chase, Jodee Curtis, Christopher Meyer, Brady Siver and Aubrey Wells.

“I am immensely grateful for your willingness to defend our freedom and protect the values we hold dear,” BFHS principal Lisa Iverson said when addressing those joining the military. “[I’m] wishing you strength, resilience, and success as you will embark on this noble journey. 

She reminded the class that high school was a time of growth, discovery and transformation. 

“Remember the resistance you’ve grown here is your greatest asset,” she said. “The world you are stepping into is dynamic and sometimes daunting. There will be moments of uncertainty and challenges that test your limits, but it is also the moments of opportunities. Opportunities to innovate, to lead, and to make a positive impact. You have the tools to cease these opportunities.

“The future is yours to create, go out and make it extraordinary,” Iverson said. 

Top 10:

Asha L. Abubakari, Braylyn Violet Bayer, Paige E. Bennett, Ana H. Chase, Abigail I. Hodges, Damon J. Madson, Gunnar J. Miller, Lindsey J. Onstott, Chandler C. Swanson and Emma J. Tompkins. 

Class of 2024:

Asha Abubakari, Zap Andrejszak, Anteneh Araya, Kaelynn Baisden, Kaila Banks, MArissa Barajas, Trey Bateman, Avery Bayer, Braylyn Bayer, Aiden Beggerly, Paige Bennett, Isaac Bliss, Jacob Bliss, Alexis Brown, Shanlee Chaffin, William Chaney, Ana Chase, Kadyn Chouinard, Elijah Cooper, Pamela Copeland, Jodee Curtis, Jayden Deal, Jordan Doss, Jesse Dye, Colin Fairchild, Jada Fairchild, Jordan Fairchild, Chloe Fleck, Kylee Gardner, Eloisa Gorino, Murphy Haught, Adelaide Heigel, Dakota Heller, Elizabeth Hiland, Samantha Hiland, Aspen Hill, Kynsie Hinrichs, Abigail Hodges, William Hollabaugh, Gary Jacobson, Santiago Jimenez, Eli Leyden, Chase Licea, Damon Madson, Dillon McLeish, Harrison McQueen, Christopher Meyer, Gunnar Miller, Kamen Nelson, Eli Newell, Lindsey Onstott, Ana-Hilda Ortiz-Perez, Lilly Owens, Sierralyn Paul, Lauren Petersen, Martie Petersen, Ava Frederickson, Quentin Phelphs-Beagle, Markynn Pluid, Cody Pope, Troy Randall, Savannah Rickter, Neva Rogers, Kaden Rubish, Kolten Rude, Brady Siver, Alexis Smith, Wyatt Smith, Brenna Stewart, Taylor Sumpter, Braylon Sutich, Chandler Swanson, Tyson Tadlock, Emma Tompkins, Matthew Treutelaar, Noah Varelman, Aubrey Wells, Brandon Williams and Nora Young. 

A full photo gallery of the graduation commencement is available online. 

    A Bonners Ferry High School graduate of the Class 2024 shakes hands with BCSD Superintendent Jan Bayer at graduation on June 1.
    Matthew Treutelaar embraces his father at BFHS Class of 2024 graduation on June 1.
    Graduates laugh after graduation.