Wednesday, February 08, 2023

Class of 2022 a resilient bunch

by Daily Inter Lake
| June 5, 2022 12:00 AM

Last week the Inter Lake showcased six remarkable seniors set to graduate from each of the area’s high schools this weekend. Through these stories we learned about some of the traits that define the Class of 2022.

First, resiliency: the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.

It’s the word that readily comes to mind when reflecting on this class and the path they have forged during their high school years.

Beginning their sophomore year, they met head-on the challenges of remote learning and hybrid learning brought on by Covid-19.

“It was a rough ride,” recalled Flathead High senior Madison Wallack, who described herself as an “in-person learner.”

Yet, they adapted remarkably, learning to work within new technology like Google Meet and Zoom, and follow safety protocol with nary a murmur or complaint until the pandemic subsided.

They even found ways to shine brightly through outstanding academic and athletic achievements.

Wallack now holds a high school diploma, having graduated from Flathead High School a semester ahead of most of her peers, and has begun taking classes at Flathead Valley Community College — resiliency at its best.

Courage is another trait exuded by the Class of 2022.

Seven teens died by suicide in the Flathead Valley between May 2020 and September 2021 — a cluster of tragedies that rocked the community.

But this class wouldn’t remain quiet. Rather, they boldly spoke up about mental health and suicide prevention, and rallied around each other to ensure those who are struggling get the help they need.

Their courage has helped lay the foundation for a better tomorrow within the halls of our schools, and emboldened others to carry their cause forward.

Inspiration also comes to mind when reflecting on the Class of 2022.

We see it in Glacier High School graduate Opal Besaw, a talented writer who wants to become a children’s author, social worker and continue her efforts as a disability rights advocate.

“Everyone deserves a chance to have their voices and their ideas heard by someone and I want to be that person for people,” Besaw said.

And we see it in Emma Trieweiler, a Whitefish graduate with her eyes set on working as a civil attorney on behalf of those who can’t fight for themselves.

“I want to have the opportunity to defend people who need it and are at some sort of unfair disadvantage,” she said.

With commencement ceremonies wrapping up this weekend, these graduates will transition into adulthood during uncertain times. An economy on the precipice, global unrest and political divisiveness linger like a thick fog.

Resiliency, courage and inspiration are sure to serve these graduates well, and we’re confident the Class of 2022 can overcome any obstacle — they have already proven as much.

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