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North Summit High graduates rock out on their way out

 Luke Rice (right) plays "Cliffs of Dover" on the guitar, backed up by bass and drums, during graduation at North Summit High School Monday night.
Connor Thomas
/
KPCW
Luke Rice (right) plays "Cliffs of Dover" on the guitar, backed up by bass and drums, during graduation at North Summit High School Monday night.

North Summit High School graduated 66 seniors this week in a ceremony that included some virtuoso electric guitars.

The rain was pouring Monday night, but, as luck would have it, only on Coalville.

North Summit’s Class of 2023 and their loved ones stayed dry inside the auditorium, where they rocked out to Walker Woolstenhulme’s electric guitar rendition of the “Star Spangled Banner.”

The national anthem kicked off the ceremony, which featured both heartfelt and humorous moments. Senior Class President Wyatt Morrill gave the opening remarks.

 Senior Class President Wyatt Morrill gives welcoming remarks to begin the class of 2023's graduation ceremony at the North Summit High School auditorium.
Rhonda Butcher
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North Summit High School
Senior Class President Wyatt Morrill gives welcoming remarks to begin the class of 2023's graduation ceremony at the North Summit High School auditorium.

The first speech came from salutatorian Kohen Wilde, who was only half-joking when he said he hoped his classmates’ four years in high school weren’t the best of their lives. Wilde said he and his classmates have a lot of life yet to live.

“It is my hope that you will never lose sight of the brightness of the future by always looking back,” he said. “That being said, I can't imagine a better place to prepare for all [of our future] experiences than the school we have here.”

After that, the graduating class heard from teacher and alumna Tiffany Myers and valedictorian and Student Body President Jenna Larsen.

Larsen shared stories about the teachers and teams that made her high school experience special.

“Thank you to all of our families, teachers, administrators, and staff who've helped us get here,” Larsen said. “I would especially like to thank my parents for all their support. I wouldn't have gotten here without them.”

The last speaker was North Summit School District Superintendent Jerre Holmes. He read a poem he wrote for the graduates, and he recited a touching litany of times he saw specific students persevere or do the right thing.

 North Summit High School's class of 2023
North Summit High School
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Graduation program
North Summit High School's class of 2023

“And maybe most importantly, I watched you love each other when you needed each other,” Holmes said. “You're an impressive class. And more importantly, you're an impressive group of human beings.”

Then Principal Devin Smith presented the seniors to school board member Waylon Bond, who accepted them as graduates. After that, it was time for the graduates to get their diplomas and walk the stage.
Of the 66 graduates, 21 are headed to a 4-year college. Seven are headed to a 2-year college and seven more to a trade school.

Eleven students will serve missions this year, 17 are going to work and three haven’t decided or are unknown.

It was an academically strong class, whose average ACT math scores were the best among Utah public schools. The class of ’23 had the second best overall ACT scores too.

Two graduates were Sterling Scholars, a scholarship honoring students from across the state for excellence in a particular field. Morgan Wilde won in agricultural science, and Emma Miller won for speech and drama.

Luke Rice, a Sterling Scholar semifinalist in instrumental music and another electric guitarist, played the night’s musical number: Eric Johnson's legendary guitar solo “Cliffs of Dover.”