Thursday, July 25, 2024
HomeTheGoodStuffThe Good Stuff by Shelley Bennett

The Good Stuff by Shelley Bennett

by Shelley Bennett

Last Friday evening, hundreds of friends and family members gathered on Arnold Field to celebrate the graduates of Lassen High School’s Class of 2024.

The energy and excitement was palpable as the class was led into the stadium by counselor Micah Freeman.

To start, the flags were presented by FFA officers Lily Ammon and Tucker Bailey, Katelyn Kirack led the flag salute, then Jacob Mack and Mr. Wade presented a unique rendition of the National Anthem.

Principal Dr. Lynn Pikero welcomed those in attendance. She said that although she was new to the school this year, the “spirit of excellence” was demonstrated by this class and apparent in every corner of the campus.

Dr. Pikero went on to encourage the graduates to “stay true to [their] values” and exhibit their We Are Lassen attributes (loyal, excellence, noble, no matter what path they choose to take next.

Class president Tucker Schall and ASB president Renee Delgado took the stage next. Schall opened the speech with taking a class selfie for his mom, class advisor and business teacher Kerrissa Schall, and a quote from Ferris Bueller, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

Delgado noted that their last graduation was in kindergarten since Covid 19 restrictions cancelled the end of their 8th grade year. She urged her classmates to look around them and take in the faces as this was the last time they would all be in the same place.

With a touch of humor, the duo reminisced about the class’ accomplishments, including winning the Homecoming Float decorating contest all four years, numerous athletic titles, and academic success as well. The Class of 2024 definitely made their mark on LHS.

Danny Davidson, We Are Lassen student, was the next speaker. Chosen by the faculty for embodying the program’s values, Davidson had the audience laughing when he told them he was going to college to learn how to “mow lawns” so he can “spend the rest of his life” on a golf course.

In reality, Davidson will attend the College of the Desert in Southern CA and study turf management. It’s a lucrative career and personally, I think Danny is genius for finding a job to match his passion. You might see him manicuring the course at the U.S. Open someday.
Davidson’s speech was impactful because he reminded the attendees that a traditional path is not the only one.

Sara Daniels and Jessica Nakanishi, valedictorians, acknowledged the teachers, classmates, and family members who helped contribute to their development. Remembering the adversity their classmates faced during school closures from the pandemic and fires, they shared their certainty that the “strength and resilience these lessons have imparted” will carry them through the challenges that lie ahead.

Comparing the days ahead to a race as classmates “laced up their running shoes” to get a good start, they ended with reminding the audience that the journey is just as important as the finish line.

Salutatorian Aubrey Yerington was the last student speaker. With a reference to the movie Moana, Yerington told her classmates that while they may not know where this journey will take them, the skills and courage they have acquired over the last four years will help them stay on course.

In closing, she noted that life is short and unpredictable, so make the most of every moment, be kind, love one another, and don’t take each other for granted.
The LHS Concert Choir and Drumline joined together with an uplifting performance “We Won’t Stop Dreaming.”

Mitch Lively, class of 2003 alumni, gave the keynote address. A former professional baseball player, Lively is also a husband, dad to Colten, business owner, coach, and referee. Lively congratulated the grads and said that tonight was not just a time to celebrate their academic success, but a testament to their personal resilience and adaptability.

He remembered when sitting where they were now. sharing the same feelings of excitement and uncertainty, and having dreams that he wasn’t sure he could accomplish.

Lively said that living in a small town can help you achieve those dreams because you are often surrounded by people who know you, support you, and celebrate your successes.
Additionally, growing up in Lassen County provided Lively (and the graduates) with a sense of community, where kindness is abundant and you aren’t afraid to ask for help.

He said that this environment helped him gain lifelong friendships, a sense of confidence, humbleness and made him a well-rounded individual, qualities that the Class of 2024 can also exhibit as they enter the world outside our boundaries.

Then it was the time that everyone was waiting for: the awarding of the diplomas. The graduates were announced by counselor Micah Freeman and assistant principal Bob Nielsen. They received their diplomas from Dr. Pikero and were congratulated by the Board of Trustees and their beloved teachers.

As the names were called, cheers, confetti poppers, and noisemakers filled the air. Outgoing superintendent Morgan Nugent praised this class’ “toughness”, said he would miss them and asked them to stay in touch.

Schall and Delgado came back onstage to direct the turning of the tassels and the night erupted with clouds of confetti and caps thrown into the air.

Congratulations to the Class of 2024! As one of your class advisors, I’ve had the honor of working with you since the beginning of your high school experience and it has been truly amazing. I’m so proud.

Remember when news was ‘newsy’? When you read about weddings, family events and engagement announcements in the newspaper? If you have something that might be newsworthy, please submit it to [email protected] and I’ll do my best to include it here in “The Good Stuff.”

Jeremy Couso
Jeremy Couso Publisher/Editor
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