Thank you for that warm introduction. Let me first welcome the graduating class and our extended family. Let me acknowledge:
Parents, grandparents, and relatives - except for those who
for some reason did not give us any graduation money. Loyal friends -
except those to whom we owe money, and finally teachers and
administrators who are constantly borrowing money. Please stop.
Certainly our parents have a lot to be proud of. Just think
parents, in a few months many of us will be going off to college or
getting a job, and you'll get what you've been waiting for a long
time... to turn that now empty bedroom into a home office.
And we cannot forget the contribution of our teachers. So
unheralded. It's a tough job to take a group of fresh minds and try to
show them the life skills that they will need to be successful. Skills
every teacher knows, such as:
Have four years flown by that fast!!?? Wow, it seems like yesterday
that, as freshmen, we were being lovingly shoved into lockers face first
by the seniors. But time went by. We grew up. We took positions of
leadership. As seniors, we would never, ever, ever do something so
immature to the freshman. We didn't shove them into lockers. We just
filled their lockers with shaving foam!
I'm not saying that we did anything else immature during
our four years. I'm certain we were all home on time, and respected all
the laws of the City, County and State at all times. And if you believe
that, you believe the Principal will be handing out $100 bills in the
cafeteria later today.
But can't we expect that youths are going to be energetic,
possibly rambunctious, and even at times a little insane? I think we
can. Any group of people that listens to the music we do, or wears the
clothes we wear, and doesn't get nabbed by the state asylum is a special
And as a group we've been through a lot. Educational
institutions are facing a lot of budget cuts. So we've learned to live
with some pain. Cut backs to the athletic budget were painful, reduced
spending for the music department was painful, and watching the football
team attempt synchronized swimming during “reverse day” was especially
One of things I most admire is how we came together as a
class. Before arriving here we came from very different schools. At
first we formed predictable groups and cliques. But over time we grew
together as we fought opposing schools on the football field, at band
competitions and academic debates.
Perhaps more than anything else, the lesson we learned is that as
separate individuals we are, at most, mildly effective. But together we
are able to combine our talents into a powerful arsenal of educational
excellence, athletic achievement and community spirit.
Over the coming years you may forget some science facts or
calculus formulae you learned here. What you cannot forget is that when
individuals work together, the whole group is raised up and the
impossible become the possible. Achievement becomes your destiny.