By Woodrow Polston
The Van-Far Class of 2022 participated in numerous events leading up to graduation day last week. On Wednesday they conducted a senior parade through the elementary, junior high and high schools. Later that evening, they took part in a senior awards banquet and Baccalaureate service. On Thursday, the students took a senior trip and spent the day at Top Golf.
On Sunday, the senior class assembled in the high school auditorium to participate in the 2022 graduation ceremony. Kiera Hayden sang the National Anthem, and Superintendent John Fortney gave the welcoming address.
“As you go through life, I believe it is important to give back,” said Fortney. “It does not necessarily mean doing something for someone who has done something for you. Giving back means paying it forward. And giving back does not necessarily mean large gifts of money or time. Sometimes doing something for someone is a simple act of smiling and saying hello. Class of 2022, you are our future. When you leave here to start your next chapter, you will become ambassadors of Van-Far. And I know that you will make us proud,” added Fortney.
Valedictorians were Ennis Childs, Emma Dowling, Kiera Hayden, and Cameron Jones. Salutatorian was Sophia Rost. The presentation of diplomas was conducted by Justin Hopke, president of the Van-Far R-I School Board. Van-Far High School Principal Mrs. Kim Pafford gave closing remarks.
During the awards banquet earlier in the week, it was announced that there were more than $1 million in scholarships awarded this year. Some of those scholarship awards included DAR Scholarship: $500 Lily Boushard; First Presbyterian Church Scholarship: $1,000 Easton McAfee; MFA Agri Services Scholarship Hale, Mo.: $2,000 Ennis Childs; Bertram Cowley Memorial: $250 Cameron Jones; Consolidated Cares: $1,500 Adam McCurdy; VFW Post & Auxiliary No. 2173: $500 Cameron Jones.
Other scholarship award recipients included Kirsten Scott: National Honor Society, Academic Letter, Columbia College $24,806; Sophia Rost: National Honor Society, College Prep Certificate, Academic Letter, Yearbook Staff & Editor, Missouri Scholarship and Loan Foundation Access Scholarship $2,000 renewable, Truman State University $12,025 per year.
It was also announced that Ennis Childs and Cameron Jones have been awarded merit scholarships to the University of Missouri-Columbia for their outstanding test scores—Ennis for the ACT and Cameron for the PSAT. Each will receive $13,000 per year full tuition and fees, one year of on-campus housing, $3,500 additional annual stipend, $2,000 research and study abroad support and a $1,000 technology enrichment award.
Ennis and Cameron will also be receiving the Missouri Department of Education Bright Flight Scholarship, this scholarship is based on the ACT test and recipients must be in the top 3 percent of all test takers in the state of Missouri and be attending a school in Missouri. The award is $3,000 and is renewable annually up to 10 semesters.