2016 Valedictorian Speech, E.L. Crossley Secondary School

By Katrina Foster

Good evening parents, staff, guests, and of course the graduating class of 2016. I first want to thank everyone for this opportunity. I’m very thankful to be standing here today speaking on behalf of such an amazing graduating class. I know for some you’re sitting there thinking ‘Oh great. Now we have to listen to her, for I don’t know how many minutes…’’ but I promise I’ll try and make this as painless as possible.

When people told me that these four years would fly by I never believed them. But standing here today almost feels like it’s been a minute since we were in grade 8, and these years have been moving in fast forward. I emphasize the ‘almost’ since we all know those hours of math homework made the days feel like they would never end. Forever the words “practice makes perfect” will be engrained in my head, while my calculus mark blatantly disagrees. It feels like just yesterday when we awkwardly huddled together to avoid the inevitable fate of ‘pass the grapefruit’ on grade 9 day. Though, we soon realized that these people would become some of our closest friends. Together we have endured, conquered, laughed, and shed a few tears. I’m lucky enough to be able to say I made great friends, with some pretty spectacular memories like all of us have. A part of me wishes I had extra time to get to know some of you a little bit better, but the pages of this chapter have almost run out and a new one calls us forward. Sorry. Couldn’t resist the classic valedictorian cheesy quotes.

This room contains so much talent it’s hard to even begin to list the achievements this graduating class has accomplished. But I mean that’s the whole point of this speech so I better give it a shot. Here we have some of the best subtweeters this generation’s ever seen, the group of people most likely to get a concussion, the owners of the best collection of khaki pants, and collectively we have the best relationship with the Tim Horton’s staff in all of Crossley history. They say that the best lessons you learn in life aren’t those on paper, but those you experience. And this is why I can stand here today and confidently say I know how to get to McDonald’s and back with time to spare during a forty minute lunch.

Of course we wouldn’t be here today without the help of our amazing teachers, and the only way I can think of to show our true appreciation of them is to give a classic Crossley two clap. But since we usually end up doing more claps than two why don’t we give them a good old fashioned round of applause. Some of our favourite memories have been shared with our teachers who tirelessly answer all of our cries of help. Even though they’ll say, “there’s no such thing as a dumb question” we know that they’ve had to grin and bear their way through some of Willie’s questionable remarks. Whether it be for homework help or just a helping hand they were with us through it all. Whether it be Mr Ruscitti doing the ‘Nae Nae’, or Mr Gaines passionately singing the words to ‘Wrecking Ball’ memories were definitely made.

After speaking to a few of my fellow classmates, I realized that our class truly has done it all. Some dominated the sport scene, winning numerous games and meets, some travelled to Disney with the marching band, and others were sure to be the best gamers in all of Crossley, just to name a few. From building a skatepark, to throwing a fake birthday for John we’ve managed to make the most out of these past four years.

Even though we quickly realized that high school wasn’t at all like High School Musical. Thank you Disney for getting our hopes up….

While friendships came and went, and goals were set and reached, we all learnt from one another. Never forget the wide­eyed grade 9 you who was terrified to start their first day of high school. Here is where you’ll find that excellence and fear often go hand in hand. It will drive us for the rest of our lives to be better than we were the day before, making us reach for dreams we never thought possible. Make the most out of each and every day in front of you, for tomorrow is never guaranteed. Live your life according to your rules, and step into the unknown.

Congratulations on surviving 32 exams. You’ve made it. Good luck in your future years to come, and have fun. Thank you.

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