‘We have it all here at Lander Valley High School;’ LVHS 2024 graduation ceremony

    (Lander, WY) – Hundreds were in attendance at the Lander Valley High School 2024 graduation ceremony held on Sunday, May 19, where 112 graduates officially received their diplomas.

    The festivities began with the opening processional performed by student Zoe Szymanski, followed by a performance of the ‘Star Spangled Banner’ by the Valley Singers.

    FCSD #1 school board Chairman Jared Kail then welcomed the crowd and introduced the 307 Alliance to perform the “Honor Song” for the graduates.


    The first student speaker Emily Anderson then addressed the crowd, and stressed the importance of focusing on mental health, and also stepping out of comfort zones to meet new people.

    “The brightest I felt was when I had entertaining interactions with unlikely people,” Anderson said of times in her life that were the darkest, and also shared that she no longer relied on massive accomplishments, being “the best,” and compartmentalizing stress in order to be deemed “successful.”

    “As we gather here together one final time,” Anderson concluded, “remember that we are more than the sum of our accomplishments.”

    Math teacher Rebecca Keane then took the stage and garnered heartfelt laughs from both graduates and attendees, with jokes, wisdom and parables during her speech, which was also speckled with quotes borrowed from musician James Taylor throughout.


    Benjamin “Benny” Kulow was the next student speaker, who opened with a joke about how people may not know his name, but they definitely know him as “Johnny’s little brother,” in reference to his older brother/LVHS swimming legend.

    Benny went on to talk about a “serious” affliction that affects high school students across the country during their senior year, known as “Senioritis.”

    Defined as “a supposed affliction of students in their final year of high school or college, characterized by a decline in motivation or performance,” Benny observed that “Senioritis” can go on to affect graduates during moments later in their adult lives, if they don’t try to learn lessons from it now.


    “In these moments you must decide if you want to quit, or stick it out a little longer,” Benny stated.

    Following Benny, the Valley Singers then once again treated the crowd, this time with a performance of “Bridge Over Troubled Water.”

    Before Assistant Principal Hillary Reisig took the stage to introduce the graduates, Principal Brad Neuendorf acknowledged the LVHS staff and then shared quite the list of accomplishments from the class of 2024, who earned $3.4M in scholarships for the 2023/24 school year.


    Some of those accomplishments included: 14 top academic seniors, 19 National Honor Society recipients, 17 President’s Awards for Educational Excellence, three students recognized for the Wyoming Seal of Biliteracy, three students (Joseph Adams, Annabelle Denevan and Avery Bever) who will be joining the U.S. Military, Swimming/Track/Nordic Skiing/Soccer/Choir State champs, athletes of the year, blue ribbon/First Lady’s Choice/Congressional art award winners, AP scholars, a National Merit Finalist, students selected for elite colleges, and many more.

    “We have it all here at Lander Valley High School, congratulations,” Neuendorff commented.

    After the slew of recognitions, it was officially time for the graduates to accept their diplomas.

    Following the acceptance of the diplomas, student body President Randall Wise conducted the turning of the tassels, and closed out the ceremony with some “Wise” words.

    “Congratulations class of 2024, and thank you all for an amazing four years.”

    2024 Class Flower:
    Stargazer Lily

    2024 Class Motto:
    “If not me, then who; If not now, then when?”
    -Hillel the Elder-

    Congratulations, class of 2024!


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