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Idaho Enterprise

Congratulations to the Class of 2022! 109th Commencement Exercises held for Malad High School

Jun 06, 2022 11:08AM ● By Anna Pro

The 109th annual Commencement Exercises were held to recognize the MHS Class of 2022. The ceremony was held on Wednesday, May 25th, honoring the Class of 2022 and celebrating the last four years of their educational experience. There were 66 students graduating with this class. 

The speakers for that evening were Salutatorian Colton Ihler, Valedictorian Samuel Pickett, Commencement Speaker Kory Kay, Student Body President Bridger Bastian,  and Superintendent Jon Abrams.

Music for the night was provided by the Malad High School Concert Band that played the Prelude as well as the School Song later in the program. The National Anthem, “The Star Spangled Banner,” was sung by Malad High School Chamber Choir. They also combined with the Malad High School Choir for a musical number after Mr. Abrams’ remarks titled, “Memories” by Maroon 5.

Salutatorian Colton Ihler

After being introduced by President Bastian, the first speaker was Salutatorian Colton Ihler. He said, “Good evening ladies and gentlemen, parents and families, teachers and staff, and lastly my friends of the Class of 2022, we have finally made it through all 12 years. It is my honor to be here tonight as your Class of 2022 Salutatorian. To explain to you all what Salutatorian is I figured I would turn to It states that a salutatorian is, ‘The person who just missed being valedictorian by one test score point. A very miserable person indeed. 2nd place is just the first loser.’ However, none of us here are losers. Because by the end of tonight we will all be walking across this stage and be graduated.

“School is all that we have known for our whole lives. In elementary school our worries were small, we were more focused on what we wanted to spend our AR points on or how to become a FastMath Wizard so we could finally run through the halls like the cool kids. Many crucial life lessons were learned in this stage of life. Like how Bridger learned he should probably wear a belt so he doesn’t get pantsed again, how Sydney learned she should probably focus on her balance more so she doesn’t continue to break bones on the playground, how Ms. Swartz’s class will never lose a dodgeball tournament, and how if you climb a rock wall you should probably know how to climb down it. 

“Now as we left and moved on to middle school we thought we were finally big kids, just to realize our lives stayed pretty much the same. Our focuses were once again simple. We all looked forward to the bowling days with Mrs. Price and Mr. Ray, the ski days so we could get out of school all day, and of course the challenge of seeing if you could make it through a class in Mr. Waldron's without getting a think time. Now we were slowly being prepared for high school all three years without even knowing it. We learned how to become more responsible, dedicated, and we all learned that we can each become successful in our own things. After that last Mr. Vaghun BBQ, we were ready for the challenge of high school. 

“Now we have been told that high school is the time of your lives and that you need to enjoy it. I truly believe that we all made the most out of our high school experience and we made it the best 4 years that we have had so far. We have had many challenges thrown at us during our 4 years. From having to move to online school during COVID to learning which path to take to homeroom so Tansy wouldn’t give you a tardy slip, we were able to learn how to get things done in different conditions. We have all had obstacles in our lives and learning how to overcome them is one of the best things for us. 

“In our 4 years, we were given the opportunity to become members of teams and clubs. These gave us opportunities to gain new skills and create many memories. We were able to learn how to work as a team and get tasks done as a whole. We learned how to become leaders and how we each have our own skills that are valuable and unique. We also learned many other things during these activities. Like how if you are involved in anything with Ryan and there is a body of water nearby, he will end up in it at one point at his will or not. How you don’t want to be on the other side of the ball from Amy or Gill during a powderpuff game. Or that if you need a fresh haircut the baseball and track team can fix you up real nice. But most importantly we learned the importance of setting goals. If you want to become successful you need to set goals for yourself. Now class, we all made the first major goal in life tonight, but we need to continue to set goals for ourselves so we know what to aim for.

“I know for some of you High School has been your whole life but this is not the end of the line. High School is just the end of the first chapter of our lives. Starting tonight we are opening the new and more exciting chapters of each and every one of our lives. Classmates, be sad because we are saying goodbye to most of our friends. 

Parents, be sad that your kids are moving out on their own, “Or be jumping up with joy,” whatever your case may be. And teachers be sad that you are losing the best grade to go through this high school. But everyone BE proud of what we all have accomplished. Our lives are not defined by how well we did in athletics, how high our GPA was, or how many Friday schools we had to attend because you were tardy for class. But our life is what we make it ourselves. We are on our own now and we are in charge of our own success. We have nothing holding us back now so what is stopping us all from becoming as successful as we can be. Success is something that looks very different for all of us. We all have our own ideas of what success looks like and we can’t let others get in the way of our own. Success can be anything that brings joy to your life. We need to all strive to find what brings us success. Success and failure often sit right next to each other and that is why many are afraid to take the chance on what may make them successful. We must not be afraid to try again and again when we fail. NBA Legend  Michael

Jordan says, “I’ve failed over and over again in my life, and that is why I succeed.” Classmates, If you take one thing out of my speech tonight I want you to all know that failure is the one thing that will all make us stronger. As we move on don’t be afraid to take the risks. If we live content in a comfortable norm, we will never be able to experience the highs of life. We have much potential sitting here tonight and it is my wish that every one of you will be able to reach your full potential. Congratulations Class of 2022.”

Valedictorian Sam Pickett

Next on the program was Valedictorian Samuel Pickett. He gave a memorable speech, stating he planned to keep it short. He said, “Hi! So for those of you who don’t know me and some of you who do, I don’t like giving speeches, much less one in public. As a matter of fact, this speech is the reason why I did not want to be Valedictorian or Salutatorian. But since I have to do this speech, I figured I might as well make it as short as possible. My family actually started placing bets on how long my speech would be. My brother, Andrew, said that my speech would be between 1 second and 999,999,999,999,999 seconds, which is roughly 31.7 million years, so it was a bit of a spectrum. He later amended it to 3 minutes. 

“However, when some of my classmates heard how short I was planning on making my speech, they were a bit peeved. They wanted me to make it longer. So to those of you who wanted me to make my speech longer, your wish has been granted. I actually considered just copying and pasting a chapter of Lord of the Rings into my speech just to extend its length, though I decided against it. 

“But I did remember a quote from the Two Towers. For some context, this was part of a speech given to Frodo by Sam when he felt like giving up. It goes, “ It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened. But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back only they didn’t. Because they were holding on to something.” So when the bad days come, and they will, I hope that we all have something that we can hold onto. 

“Now for those of you who are wondering what my original speech was going to be, don’t worry. It’s still in here, I just added on top of it. From the end of this sentence to the end of this speech was what I originally planned to say. Congratulations Class of 2022.”

Superintendent Jon Abrams

Superintendent Jon Abrams’ speech was based on a quote from Mother Teresa which read,  “People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self centered. Forgive them anyways. If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway. If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway. If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway. What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway. If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway. The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway. Give the best you have and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway. In the final Analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.” He spoke to the graduates about how they can use this quote to help them succeed in their future and how it can help them be the best people they can be. 

Commencement Speaker Kory Kay

Malad High School Teacher Kory Kay was selected as the Commencement Speaker by the Class of 2022. He began his career at Malad High School the same year the graduates started their high school experience. He was introduced by Malad HIgh School Senior Class President Tayson Davis, who talked about Kay graduating from Brigham Young University - Idaho and then after one year of teaching, moved back to the family farm in Swan Lake area. He is married with two daughters he likes to talk to the students about. He has coached various sports, like football and basketball,  as well as taught a variety of subjects, including World History, conditioning, and US History. 

Kay began his speech by asking the graduates “What’s up kids? That’s the last time you will have to hear that from me.” Kay also mentioned that he did not realize the short speech was an option and wished he had known that was available before he wrote his speech for that night. 

Kay then said, “It’s an honor to be speaking here at your graduation. We started high school together here at Malad High four years ago and now we get to celebrate the end of it together.  I’ve always felt like the Mr. Feeney to your Boy Meets World. I don’t plan to follow you to college though. We won’t get to that season.” 

“Your freshman year I had some of you for your first high school class.  We debated how the pyramids were built and played a million Kahoots. Sam (Pickett)  always won and was so enthusiastic about winning. (Colton) Ihler was always a good second place though, as long as Clara (Huckaby) wasn’t in that class. I introduced you to good music. At least Amy, Bridger, and McCall would agree. Riggin and Carson  always loved the weight room music. I even coached many of you through your first season of high school football and basketball. 

“I had my first kid at the end of your freshman year. When I would tell you guys stories about her or show you pictures of how cute she was you always acted like you cared. 

Kay continued, “Your sophomore year: 

“Matt  and Karson made our health class a “safe place” and aggressively made sure that everyone knew to feel safe there. Jade doesn’t remember because she was asleep most of the time.  Some of you also decided to try and get “swole” that year by taking my weights class. Guys like Cooper, Vinny, Davis, Riley, and Jace took that class for multiple years. And for the most part, it didn’t make much difference. In the future, I recommend spending more time lifting the weights than taking pictures of them to post on Snapchat or Instagram and spending so much time in the mirror looking for muscles.  In weights Horsely taught us that curls are an effective exercise for any day of the week. Didn’t matter what muscle group you were working, curls (or as we now call them “Horsely’s”) can help.  You also made it through COVID that year and were never so excited to come back to “real school” that fall. That didn’t last long. 

“Now your junior year, you took a bit of a detour:

“I don’t teach any junior classes. So, I understand that many of you felt abandoned and were tricked into latching on to another male teacher who has a decent beard, receding hairline, wears glasses, and tells bad jokes. No, I am not talking about Mr. Williams. You know who I’m talking about. Maggie, Clara, and Whitney and any others still on that side of the fence; I forgive you. 

“Your senior year, however, many of you returned to the fold and came back to the light to finish off your high school careers. I tried to make sure that you were not cheated of vital life knowledge like so many other high schoolers across the country. I taught you how to do your taxes in Econ! Surprisingly, Jade may have been one of the few to actually stay awake during that one. Everyone else woke up once “someone” started swearing.

“And now we’re here.  I can’t decide what is more surprising, the fact that this day is finally here or the fact that so many of you made it to this day. Looking at you, Buttheads. You found a way. That has always kind of been the theme of this class. They have always found a way. When the odds have been stacked against them by things totally out of their control (or things totally in their control) they have always found a way to beat them. 

Kay continued, “I want to share a quick story and some advice to finish.  About 10 years ago, my dad, little brother, and I decided to take a horse ride to the top of Oxford Peak. My little brother and I had never been up there and I was excited to see the view from the top. I noticed that as we rode up the mountain that we weren’t always riding up. It seemed that for every bit of progress up the mountain that we made, we had to go down some other way to make it to the top of the next ridge. It was a continuous series of ups and downs. I was frustrated by this and I was always looking for an easier way to go to maintain our upward progress, but my dad would always strongly encourage us to take the best path which sometimes took us down rather than up. 

“As we slowly made progress to the top we would pause at the top of each ridge and look across the valley. At each peak I would say how beautiful the view was and my dad would wisely reply ‘Just wait til we get to the top.’ When we finally did make it to the top, the view was beautiful. I could see farther than I had ever seen before. It was breathtaking. 

“Now what does this have to do with you guys?  Well kids, life is not like a box of chocolates. It’s like climbing a mountain. The mountain represents what you want in life and what you are capable of achieving, your potential. If you want to reach the top you have to climb the mountain which means going through the ups and downs to get there. It will not be easy, but it will be worth it. Look where you are! You’ve already conquered one of life’s biggest mountains and while you may not agree right now, it was worth it. 

Kay then offered the graduates some advice. He said, “ Some advice as you begin to climb your next mountain. Put your phones away and get your notes out…just kidding. They’re on Schoology. 

“1. Be humble and honest with yourself about who you are and your current trajectory (or where your current path is taking you).  Don’t be victims. It’s not everyone else’s fault and it’s not that everything is against you. Be accountable for who you are and where you are in life. Optimism is great, but optimism without a sprinkle of realism is more dangerous than outright pessimism. 

“2. Seek out and accept help from others.  Sometimes you are “not enough” alone, and that’s ok.  Create relationships with people who have already climbed the mountains you want to climb. 

“3. And finally be persistent. Just like the mountain, you will experience many highs in your life. Each will usually be followed by a low. It will be tempting to be satisfied with 

each high. To stay there and enjoy the nice view from there. Likewise, it

will be discouraging to even try and recover from a low and you may think it best to abandon your climb all together. Kids, avoid failure, but don’t be afraid of it. When it happens don’t be discouraged by it. Be persistent. Enjoy success when it happens, but don’t be satisfied with it.Be  persistent. 

“I promise, you will all find success (whatever that word means to you and hopefully you will allow that definition to grow and evolve over time) in your life if you learn to do those three things. Know that you are loved or at least cared for by all of the teachers here at Malad High. We all wish you the best on your next adventure and may you conquer any mountain you choose to climb. Thank you.”

Student Body President Bridger Bastian

Student Body President Bridger Bastain then gave some advice to his classmates. He said, “My fellow 2022 graduates, family members, teacher, administrators, school board, it is an honor to speak to all of you tonight. Well I’d like to say this is the first time I haven’t heard or seen Corbett tell Matt, Carson, Justin, Ashton, or Daxton to take those darn hats off. I’m going to try to keep this short and sweet like Coach Kay so we can get out of here at a good time.

“Well, maybe for the first time in our lives, our parents were right, it did go fast! Many people say that today is the day we start our journey. I disagree. The journey began a long time ago. Today just happens to be the day where the path we have been traveling on splits into 67 unique roads. Up until now we have been a team walking as one. We have done it all and we have done it together. 

“Many of us have belonged to this school district since we started kindergarten, thirteen years ago, and I want to take us all back to the date, August 24, 2009

This was the first day of school and the start of our journey. Parents walked us up to the elementary school doors, where roughly a thousand pictures were taken. Or they patiently waited for the bus with us. For the next five years after this first day of school, we were blessed with recess where we would spend our time either playing football on the back field or red rover in the front. Where we all wanted to pick Amy because she wasn’t scared to tackle any boy. Or on those cold snowy winter days where we would see whose class could build the biggest snowman or coolest snow fort. Elementary days also brought the Halloween parade and carnival, the classic 5th grade dodgeball tournament, where Ms. Schwartz’s class ended up winning almost all of them, and we can’t forget about the joys of AR reading and all the tests that came with them. But the best part was the opportunity to go shop at the AR store. Through it all, elementary school was the first step in our journey together. And then came middle school.

 “I think I can speak for everyone when I say these were probably the most awkward three years of our lives. From the infamous school dances where looking at the ground and dancing like a zombie was normal, or walking to Thomas market for lunch regardless of the weather outside, and then there’s changing in the locker rooms which lead to the discovery of new bodily smells. Middle School was fun but just another step in our journey together.

“Now it's 2019 and we’re now the scrawny freshman, well all except Riley cause he looked like he could’ve graduated freshman year. Even though we lacked in size, our spirit and unity made up for the rest helping us to win homecoming our freshman year which had never been done. 

“Now sophomore year, nobody wants to talk about the covid year. The end of this year we went to virtual learning which at first was a struggle, but thanks to our amazing teachers, staff, and administration we were able to complete the school year. And I’m speaking for the class of 2022 right now when I say we give a huge thank you to the mute and camera off buttons. Couldn’t have done it without ya. 

“As we headed into our junior year, we soon learned that this was the year of tests. Which range from the SAT, ASVAB, ISATS, not to forget the good old covid tests, and this supposedly important one called the ACT. Some of you may have heard of it. But my good buddy Matt said if you just put your name on it you’ll still get credit. And if you wanna know something about anything in this world, Matt’s your guy. 

“We’ve saved the best for last. Senior year was a wild one. Some things I know we all won’t forget would be supporting our football team on those Friday nights, going to the basketball games and listening to our amazing pep band, and we can’t forget about our awesome mascot thunder the dragon aka Gill getting the crowd going. Some might remember watching Billy and Odey ride whatever they just made in the shop around the parking lot. We also have had multiple state champion athletes in this graduating class. One thing that is for sure is that we all will remember senior project but we definitely won’t miss it, but the skills learned won’t be forgotten. 

“And now here we stand. Our rule is over, and I know that as I look out at all of you, I will measure my time here in a much different way. I will measure it in all the friendships I've enjoyed these last four years. Some were pretty casual and others were much closer, but I'll remember each one fondly, as I'm sure you all will, too. And when many of our high school memories begin to fade, that's how we'll ultimately measure the time we spent here, not in periods or semesters or years, but in the friendships that we made and the times we shared together. And don’t worry when we’re as old as Dahlke and as forgetful as Shannon we can all rely on being Facebook friends one day.

“Those 12 years are behind us now on the road to our next milestone in our journey. This class of 2022 has made history here. We see it each day as we walk down the halls. You see the work of artists in our commons and foyer. You see the achievements in sports hanging in our gym and trophy cases down the halls. And each morning you hear the time and practice put in by our musicians. Or you hear the loud noises of the boys and girls putting their skills to the test in the shops. And you see the academic achievements through the dedication and the hard work of students in the classrooms. Everyone should be proud of what they have achieved. These years have been nothing less than a success. It was not easy though. We survived a pandemic, online school, and hardest of all, Mrs. McClain’s math tests. Just kidding, Dahlke’s were worse, lol. 

“Now here we are. We made it! This journey we’ve been on brings us to today, May 25, 2022. We began high school as kids, but we're leaving here as adults. We've completed a basic education that will serve as the platform we use to launch ourselves into our futures. Some of us will go on to college, some straight out on missions, some will join the military and others will go straight into the workforce, but each of us will travel our own path. 

This is the part of our journey where we stop for a moment, to take a rest and to reflect on all that has been accomplished. What we have done together over the past few years is truly wonderful. We stuck together and grew together and I could not have chosen a better class to be a part of. I have faith in each and every one of you, that no matter which road each of you choose to travel, you will make it your own and you will succeed. My challenge to each of you, and to myself, is to do all that you can do to reach your full potential. If each of the 67 students in this graduating class is able to do that, just imagine the effect that would have. The future is truly in our hands, so let's make the most of it.”


The graduation proceeded with Principal Corbett recommending the Class of 2022 for graduation. He talked about some of what he loved about the Class of 2022 and mentioned how proud of them he was for how far they have come since they started out with him as their principal. Kirk Willie, Chairman of the Oneida School Board, then accepted the Class of 2022 for graduation. Afterward, Willie handed out diplomas and the students walked  across the stage to show everyone the hard work and dedication that earned them a place with their classmates in that group that day.  

Students returned to their seats and waited for the rest of their class to receive their diplomas. After all graduates had cross the stage, diplomas  in hand, the graduates, under the command of President Tayson Davis, switched their tassels to the left side, signifying their graduation, sang the Malad High School Song, and threw their caps into the air in celebration of their accomplishments as a class.

After the graduation was over, to the music of “Good Old Days” by Macklemore and Kesha, the Graduates left the high school gym and went outside where they were able to meet their families on the front lawn to take photos and receive congratulations. Later that night, those who graduated got to attend a party at the Rush Funplux where they had one last celebration as a whole class.

Full List of Graduates

There were 66 graduates from the Malad High School Class of 2022. They included:  Ryan Douglas Adams, Dan Bridger Bastian, Sydney K. Carey, Fernando Cervantes, Cambrie Lee Christophersen, Darrell Allan Clark, Riley Matthew Cluff, William Scott Coleman, Ashley Lenae Colgrove, Carson Brian Colton, Wyatt Austin Critchlow, Jade Ann Daniels, Branson Dale Davis, Daxton Gary Davis, Tayson Kole Davis, Carson Davin Fonnesbek, Kristal Lee Ford, Maclaren Ember Garrett, Madison Mckinley Green, Taylor Marie Hess, Kyler Brad Horsley, Clara Elizabeth Huckaby, Carson George Hunt, Colton Wray Ihler, Mathew Craig Jacaway, Callie May Jensen, Cooper William Jones, Harley Lynn Jones, Kadence Pearl Knight, Anastasia Gillian Leckie, Brianna Lynn Lloyd, William Thomas Maddox, Carra Sayge Madsen, McCall Sydney Malmstrom, Carina Evelily McCullough, Kaleb Dean Miller, Austin Laren Nalder, Vincent Parker Nieffenegger (Evans), Briley C. Nipko, Tobin Edwards Palmer, Jr., Whitney Karan Palmer, Ashton Douglas Parker, Samuel James Pickett, Alyssa J. Purdum, Mercedes Fae Randall, Riggin Tim Rawlings, Kaylee Rose Abeleda Reyes, Alexis Jayde Robichaud (Jones) Zodac Anthony Romero, Gabe Lawrence Shelman, Ahy Betty Smith, Kyler Blake Speck, Daniel Davis Talbot, Elsha Nevaeh Tenbrink, Bailey Kay Timothy, Kimber Rose White, Piper Jade Wiles, Cole Daniels Williams, Daniel James, Williams, Jace Thomas Williams, Maggie Emma Willie, Justin Richard Whittman, Nacona Maquel Wrigley, and Savanna Marie Young. 

Several of the students also graduated with a certificate from SEITec, the technical college associated with Malad HIgh School. Those students were:  Ryan Adams, Bridger Bastian, Sydney Carey, Fernando Cervantes, Cambrie Christopehrsen, Ashley Colgrove, Carson Colton, Wyatt Critchlow, Jade Daniels, Branson Davis, Daxton Davis, Tayson Davis, Madison Green, Taylor Hess, Colton Ihler, Matthew Jacaway, Callie Jensen, Breanna Lloyd, Carra Madsen, Carina McCullough, Vincent Evans, Whitney Palmer, Samuel Pickett, Mercedes Randall, Amy Smith, Daniel Talbot, Cole Williams, Daniel Williams, Jace Williams, Justin WIttman, and Makona Wrighley. Kristal

Ford earned an Associate's Degree from Idaho State University.

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