Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Video & News Report: Heartwarming Story Of How Tiny Town Got Sarah Palin To Speak At Graduation

Previous articles AT THIS LINK

With thanks to Deedee3 at C4P

Here is the story on how those kids got Sarah to speak at their graduation.
May 14, 2013 in City

Sarah Palin to speak at Republic HS graduation
Shawn Vestal
The Spokesman-Review
Tags:GraduationRepublic High SchoolSarah PalinTyler Weyer
Kelly Scriver/courtesy photo
Republic High School seniors pose for a photo asking former
vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin to speak at their graduation.
Palin has agreed, and will speak at commencement June 1.
(Full-size photo)
Tyler Weyer and his fellow seniors at Republic High School began considering possible commencement speakers last fall.
them was the reality that the most likely speaker would be a popular
teacher or a standout community member. Not that there’s anything wrong
with that.
But Weyer had a crazy thought. “I said, ‘Hey, let’s
just get Sarah Palin,’ ” said Weyer, the 17-year-old senior class
president at Republic High.
It was kind of a joke, at least at
first. But soon Weyer had taken the lead on an aggressive social media
campaign that … just got Sarah Palin. The former Republican vice
presidential candidate and Alaska governor will be addressing Weyer and
his 26 fellow graduates June 1.
It might be the hottest ticket – ever – at the RHS gym.
is a lifelong Republic resident who plans to attend Wenatchee Valley
Community College next fall and transfer to Washington State University
to study political science. He’s a longtime fan of Palin’s – referring
to her, partly in jest, as his “idol” – for her political views and for
her representation for small-town life and outdoor recreation.
really like how the governor is able to relate to the common, everyday
American,” he said. “She loves to hunt, she loves to fish – and that’s
what our class is like, too.”
RHS principal Shawn Anderson said
Weyer has been an enthusiastic and outspoken fan of Palin’s for a few
years. A young man with a strong interest in politics and government,
“Tyler … and Sarah Palin kind of went hand in hand,” Anderson said.
Weyer threw out the notion of inviting Palin last fall, he was
encouraged by his teachers and Anderson. Why not give it a shot?
typed an invitation, Anderson had it put on school letterhead and
signed it, and it went off to Palin’s parents. Weyer had tried to reach
Palin through official sources in the past, with no success, and so he
thought going through her parents might work better – and they were
listed in the phone book. Soon thereafter, Weyer received an e-mail
response from “one of her people” that was noncommittal.
“To be
honest, I really wasn’t surprised that the message got to Sarah,”
Anderson said. “I really believed she would at least see the letter and
maybe some of the e-mails.
“But I didn’t think our chances were so high.”
passed with no further word. In early April, still awaiting an answer
and running out of time, Weyer decided to push things along.
“I got impatient, so I organized a class picture,” he said.
got his classmates together in their class sweatshirts, and they made a
banner: “We Want You! Governor Palin!” School librarian Kelly Scriver
took the photo of them posing with the banner, and they posted it on
And then – in what is becoming a familiar pattern in the
age of social media – the sharing and the liking and the tweeting
began. As word of the Class of ‘13’s efforts spread, people began
lobbying Palin directly, via Facebook and other ways. Weyer said that
Palin has some relatives living in the Republic area, which might have
helped bring their efforts some attention, and Palin herself was born
not far away in Sandpoint, where her parents have a long history.
Whatever it was, something finally broke through. As Weyer put it, “the right word got to the right people.”
He received another e-mail, wanting to know: “Can we just get the date and time again?”
“That was definitely more promising,” he said.
Then came another e-mail from Palin’s people – this time to set up a phone call with him and school officials.
told me I looked pale as a sheet when I got that e-mail,” Weyer said.
“I said, ‘Oh my goodness. I’m getting pretty excited. Something’s going
to happen here.’”
On April 18, Weyer and school officials had the
phone call with Palin’s representative, and learned that Palin would be
coming to graduation.
“It was worth a million dollars to see the look on (Weyer’s) face,” Anderson said.
Anderson’s priority is to preserve the event as a commencement ceremony – something focused on the students and their families.
“This isn’t going to be a circus and this isn’t going to be a political statement,” he said.
Weyer says that Palin’s representatives have expressed similar wishes. “She doesn’t want a frenzy,” he said.
Still, certain frenzy-like elements are bound to accompany the
appearance of a figure like Palin. Each graduate gets 20 tickets to
distribute for the 1 p.m. commencement ceremony on June 1, and then
admission to the small gym will be first-come, first-served. There’s
room for around 700 people; Anderson expects he’ll be turning people
Weyer said the event is the talk of the 1,000-resident town.
“Everyone’s asking for tickets,” he said. “Everyone’s very ecstatic.”

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