Enterprise, UT – Enterprise High School celebrated their 89th Commencement with first-year Principal Rick Palmer stealing the show. Palmer returned to public education when he was selected last summer to be the new Principal of Enterprise High School and to return to his hometown.
Palmer has loved coming back to public education and to what he refers to as “Chaos in the halls.”
Palmer addressed the packed gymnasium to share his love for the staff, his students and what he has seen for his first time in small town public education. He saw his first fight over Swedish fish, mother goats giving birth on the school lawn, a horse stampede on the softball field, and 28 inches of snow.
As the night went on you could see the love that Principal Palmer has for each of his students after just one short year being together. He began to tear up as he talked about his favorite movie “The Wizard of OZ”. Palmer said, “Dorthy is getting ready to go home and is saying her good-byes and gets in close to the scarecrow and says, “I think I’ll miss you most of all”, I too am going to miss this senior class most of all.”
Washington County School Board representative Ralph Brooks addressed the Seniors and said, “I think I have seen everything, and it’s obvious to me that your principal loves all of you.”
Palmer spent time extra time to thank his staff, his family, his right-hand man Calvin Holt, Kory Drake for lighting the E on the hill, the resource officers, and Librarian Randy Terry. “I go get a cup of Terry because he can soothe a savage beast”, says Palmer.
The night was not only for the Seniors but to say goodbye to three faculty members Joe Bott and Brian Bowles. Palmer also recognized Harmon Davis, the Head Custodian for Enterprise High School, as he received his high school diploma and was recognized tonight for his efforts in his final year with the school.
The crowning moment of the night was a special presentation of Palmers old neighbor, Stan Staheli, who received his honorary diploma from Enterprise High. Stan was born 1925 in Enterprise, Utah and had many influential school teachers including Rulon Pectal that taught him many things he has not forgotten. Stan loved school but left after the eighth grade during the great depression as times were tough and money was scarce. His family was the his top priority and Stan left school to work on a local ranch, before he went to the army at age 18. Stan has had 91 years of education that helped him earn his diploma from Enterprise High. With a parting remark from Stan read by Mr. Calvin Holt said, “As you students graduate tonight Stan wants you to remember; The altitude is truly in the attitude as you step forward into this great adventure before you!”
We also heard from Enterprise High Salutatorian Stacie Williams that spoke on how quickly time has gone. “We looked up to the Juniors and Seniors and now we are here, and real life starts now”, says Williams. She also talked about the influences in life that have prepared the senior class for this moment from parents to teachers, coaches, family, and friends. “Thank you for not giving up on us”, said Williams.
Kimberlee Bishop, the Enterprise High Valedictorian, stood to represent the Senior class and shared a very sincere look into life as she quoted her late grandpa Lynn Bryson when he gave her some sound advice, “Don’t spend too much time in books.” She encouraged students to pursue learning in and out of the classroom and to chase after the experiences in life.
The graduating class of 2016 had a total of 64 Seniors that graduated and they have set high standards for future graduates. Out of the 64 students, 14 scored a 26 or higher on their ACT’s. A perfect score is 36.
The senior class was also challenged by School Counselor Murry Hansen to apply for scholarships to multiple schools to help aid them in their future decision making. 37 students applied for these scholarships and they received a total of $2.4 million dollars in available scholarship money. Local University (DSU) Dixie State University had a grand total of $490,000 that has been offered.
The future is now yours class of 2016 and like Mr. Palmer always says to his students, “Shine on”.
If you missed the graduation you can watch it again below.