Wishes do come true, if Middleton High School’s student council has a say

Drinks from Dutch Bros. A kiss. A gigantic teddy bear. Two scholarships, a ukulele, a kitten. If you were a student at Middleton High School and that was your wish, it was granted Wednesday at the Wish Assembly.

In October, the student council invited every student and staff member to submit a wish — and then they got to work. With ingenuity, fundraising and community donations, they’ve been able to grant more than 300 wishes this year. Since November, they’ve been granting about four wishes a day, leading up to the Wish Assembly and the bigger wishes.

The wishes ranged from “impossible” to bags of candy to airline tickets. One teacher wished for Abraham Lincoln to come back to life — and that wish was pulled from the “impossible” category to the “fulfilled” when a student dressed up like Honest Abe and rose from a coffin.

Savanna McKeeth didn’t get her day at the beach — but the beach came to her, and she watched the assembly from a deck chair beside a pool filled with sand.

“This is so unique to Middleton that makes us a completely different school from everyone else,” she said.

Lizbeth Arizmendi screamed and was reduced to tears when she got a Shawn Mendes shirt — and two tickets to his Salt Lake City concert in July. Lizbeth’s mother died in October, and to see a wish fulfilled that she considered impossible left her speechless. “I feel really special,” she said afterward.

“People’s capacity for generosity is much greater than I realized,” said Johnny Hullinger, assistant principal and student council adviser. “I love my job, (but) this might be my favorite part of my job.”

This is the Wish Assembly’s second year, and Hullinger was moved by how hard the students worked to grant wishes. “They wanted to grant every single wish,” he said. “They want to help every single kid.”

Visual journalist Katherine Jones has been with the Statesman since 1990. She was named the Idaho Press Club’s Photographer of the Year in 2017, and Reporter of the Year in 2014. She frequently combines words, photos and video to tell her stories.If you like seeing stories and photos like this, please consider supporting our work with a digital subscription to the Idaho Statesman.