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Sarah Palin gets Washington students off their butts in graduation ceremony

In this photo taken on Thursday Dec. 1, 2016, election volunteers count the votes at a polling station for presidential elections where Opposition coalition candidate Adama Barrow faced longtime President Yahya Jammeh and third party candidate Mama Kandeh, in Serrekunda, Gambia. Voters in the tiny West African nation of Gambia cast marbles Thursday in an election widely expected to keep the country's ruler of more than two decades in power despite a unified challenge from the opposition. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)

The class president credited with getting Sarah Palin to speak at his small town graduation ceremony said meeting his idol made him appreciate her even more.

“She looks exactly like she does on TV, and she acts exactly like she does on TV, and acts exactly how she acts in the spotlight. What you see is what you get and I really admire that about her,” recent Republic High School graduate Tyler Weyer told KIRO Radio’s Luke Burbank Show.

The former Alaska governor and vice presidential nominee left a small gift for every senior. A dollar was taped under their chairs to teach a couple life lessons.

“There are two life lessons to this dollar they found taped underneath their seat,” said Palin. “The first one is: you’ve got to get off your butt to make a buck, and that the students would never have found that gift had they not taken the time to look for it.”

Tyler seemed to take the first lesson to heart. “I got my dollar. I had to get off my butt and I got it.”

As class president, Tyler had the privilege to introduce Palin, and said he also gave her a gift bag from the local community.

“I gave her some local gifts that we have. We gave her a Stonerose fossil from the local fossil dig. We also gave her a Republic Tigers T-shirt and we gave her a gift certificate for a free haircut in Republic at Tracy Brown’s hair salon.”

During the speech, the people of Republic also learned Palin had her own connection with the town. She told the crowd that during her family’s move from Idaho to Alaska when she was a young girl, the car had broken down near Republic, and a mechanic saved the day.

“My dad has never forgotten him, nor the kindness shown by this town. You got us on our path towards destiny,” said Palin.

Tyler said Palin stayed through the whole ceremony, and visited with many people after the ceremony concluded.

From his perspective, the majority of students and people of Republic were pleased to have Palin as the commencement speaker. “We were very welcoming I believe,” he said.

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