A graduate of Emery High School will represent the USU Eastern class of 2013 as its valedictorian while a student from South Korea will be the first international student to represent the class as salutatorian. In the 75-year history of the school, an international student has never achieved this academic honor.
The valedictorian is Jordan Sanders, son of Ronald and Patricia Sanders of Castle Dale, Utah. He graduated from EHS in 2008 as an honor student and then served an LDS mission in San Fernando, Calif. While a USU Eastern student, he said being involved in the SUN Center was a large part of his experience. Service has always been a part of his life, whether scholastically, ecclesiastically or civically. He enjoys his community service that naturally comes from being a leader in the SUN Center. He always has been passionate about music and helping others. He found a marriage of these two passions with the benefit concerts he organized and performed the past two years.
Sanders will continue his education and hopes to become a music professor with a emphasis of voice. He has been influenced by many of his professors and wishes to pass on their passion for education and music he has acquired as a part of his career.
Sungjae Park, is the son of JongJin Park and KyungHee Kwon, of Daegu, South Korea. At 19, he served an LDS mission in Sacramento, Calif. While on his mission, Park witnessed a terrible accident. He saved a person’s life by performing CPR that he learned in high school. He said he came to know the joy of saving lives of others and losing himself in the service of others. This was when Park decided to become a nurse.
He came to Price, Utah, to attend USU Eastern and was accepted into the nursing program in 2011. Since then, Park has been studying nursing. In 2012 he served as vice president of the USU Eastern nursing program and in 2013, served as ADN representative.
The Val J. Halamandaris Caring Award recipient is Emma Rowley, from Duchesne County. Her attitude towards service was noticeable at a young age. As a student at USU Eastern, her service reads like an encyclopedia of inspiration to serve others.
Some, but not all of her volunteer service, include Track & Field Days and fishing trips for special needs children; tutoring struggling readers; directing of a community theatre production; cleaning the home of a family with a daughter who has a rare brain disease; participating in Bread ‘n’ Soup Nights, Spring Breakaway and Emery County’s Mammoth Marathon.
She has performed at several benefit concerts and served meals at Parkdale Care Center and Castleview Hospital, plus participated in The Potato Patch Project, Castle Heights’ Halloween, Valentine, Dr. Seuss Reading Day Carnivals and Art Night, re-vegetation of the wetlands along the Colorado River near Moab and SUN Involvement Center presidency member.
These are a few of her service accomplishments, but if you ask her, she might simply say, “I have been honored to be able to witness the lives of others being blessed through service.”