THOMAS — Into a gymnasium filled to capacity with proud parents, families and friends marched 134 graduating seniors at Snake River High School Wednesday evening.
Speaking to her classmates, senior class president Kylee Hale said, "The world is so much bigger than high school."
She continued, "Be a best friend. Overuse 'I love you.' Don't outsmart yourself. Whatever you do, be a good one."
The 2011 graduating class at Snake River has two valedictorians—Sarah Asmus and Jake Arbon. Katie Mathis is the salutatorian.
"Learn, laugh, love," said Asmus. "Experiences provide challenges."
Arbon said, "I am appalled how many threats I received to keep this short."
His address lasted four minutes, 90 seconds. (He was allowed five minutes.)
"Look forward to the future," Arbon advised his fellow graduates. "Make those tearful goodbyes, tearful see you laters besides we have a happily ever after to take care of."
Superintendent Russell Hammond encouraged students to continue their education, whether it would be academic, professional, technical or an apprenticeship.
"Your attitude is as important as aptitude," Hammond said. "Only you can learn to manage your time. Be flexible. Take personal responsibility.
"We are excited for your new adventures," Hammond said. "We are relying on you to improve our country and our world."
Snake River High School principal Dean Bonney highlighted some of the accomplishments of the Class of 2011.
Class members have received over $848,000 in scholarships and grants, Bonney said, including one member who received a Gates Millennium Scholarship.
The Gates Millennium Scholarship pays for all expenses through graduate school for minority students to any college in the United States. Sandra Molina received this scholarship.
Graduate Michael Duff received an appointment to the United State Military Academy at West Point.
Thirteen teams went to state, Bonney said. They brought three banners back to the high school. The state championships were in wrestling, volleyball and girls soccer.
"May your happiness reach the corners of your smile," said Snake River school board chairwoman Julie Van Orden, just before handing out diplomas.