Utah Online Graduate Gives Speech Over Skype


Utah Online School’s graduates went through the typical ceremony and splendid display, the graduation ceremonies were completed with the actual graduation song.

During Friday’s ceremony at Utah Online School, the valedictorian’s speech made for a memorial interlude was a unique detail.

As Sherra Swapp made a speech to her peers over Skype, the high school seniors of Utah Online School sat in the middle of Dixie State University’s Gardner Center.

Swapp added a final reminder of the concept behind how the Utah Online School is operated.

The online presence of Swapp was due to her early completion of the credits and going to start her college in the spring term of 2016. And while Swapp was on campus in New Mexico, her speech was recorded.

“It’s the appropriate time for us to make a decision where we’re going to go and who we’re going to be,” Swapp said. “This is the opportunity to the rest of our lives; this is not the end, it’s just the beginning.”

The 17 year old valedictorian Swapp threw in her intimate feelings about her initial uncertainty of attending an online school.

For the reason of this distinctive high school experience, Swapp acquired the knowledge of valuable life skills that she might not have learned in an ordinary classroom setting.

Swapp ended her speech by reminding those who were present and asking them not to forget those skills they have also acquired, and make those skills useful in the future.

However, Swapp wasn’t the only student of Utah Online School unable to make a physical appearance at the graduation ceremony because of distance.

Another student of Utah Online School was in Korea when the school presented the diplomas.

Out of the 31 students who graduated at UOS on Friday, 13 of them are from the Washington County School District, eight of whom were from a walking distance, and the rest of the graduating class came from counties across Utah.

According to Larry Bergeson, Washington County School District Superintendent, the graduating class of Utah Online School was part of a group of almost 2,000 students who graduated this past week.

During the time Bergeson made a speech at the graduation ceremony, Bergeson talked about the future, the success and failures that come with post-high school  life.

“You’re going to commit mistakes, you’re going to have your hopes up, you’re going to succeed in certain things that you set out to accomplish,” Bergeson said. “And life will sometimes take you in a different path.”

The students also heard a speech from Utah Online School social science teacher – Matt Anderson, who have educated a number of students, but they never met her face to face until Friday’s graduation ceremony.

Teacher Anderson considered the gradation a day of celebration and reflection, as well as a time to express gratitude to the individuals who were a positive influence in each student’s life.

The social science teacher also provided a new particular attitude towards having dreams for the future.

Anderson said that dreams are not coming true just for the reason that you dream them, it’s the hard work of the person that makes things happen.

Anderson also said that by hard work, a person can make a difference in how they can change the world.

Utah Online School Coordinator Cherie Best and school board member of WCSD – Larene Cox, also gave the students additional words of advice.

Rob Clark

SchoolCampus.org admin staff managing editor

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