Good afternoon, Class of 2009. Before I begin, I want you all to do something. First, all of you turn to the right and pat the person beside you on the back. Now turn to the left and pat that person's back. I wanted you all to do that because I think that each of you deserve a pat on the back today for graduating high school is a great accomplishment.
Class, we finally made it to the day we thought was light years away, Graduation Day. After this ceremony, every one of us has to begin making decisions for the years to come, choices for the future. However, before we contemplate the future, I believe that all of us should think about the past, for it is the past that made us the people we are today.
Do you all remember your kindergarten year? Do you remember the excitement of going to recess and making new friends? When I was a kindergartener, I was not so ready to make friends. I was really shy and quiet, as hard as that is for some of you to believe. Fortunately, one of my peers cured my loneliness. A little blonde boy with great big blue eyes approached me and ask me a question that left me even more speechless.
"Do you speak English?"
After I made it clear that I was capable of speaking English, the boy said he wanted to be my friend. The boy was Devin Dotson, and we need to remember Devin today. I want you to remember the joy, light and laughter Devin brought to the world.
After that first innocent year of school, the others began to fly by. We left elementary school and entered middle school. Do you remember Coach Rhea's sarcasm, or the delectable smells that came from Mrs. Couch's classroom? We thought we were so mature and serious back then.
Before we realized it, eighth grade graduation was over and we were in high school. All of us began to grow as individuals and made even more friends. I would like all of you to think of what you had done when you were a freshman, sophomore and junior and be proud of your endeavors.
Then we began the long awaited senior year, and what a year it was. Each of us became winners on the field and in the classroom. I wager that most of us still feel the elation from when our boys won the Class 3 Football State Championship for the first time in Cassville's history. Also, our Knowledge Bow team won fourth in the state, which is incredible. FBLA did awesome as well, having more state finalists than ever before. i know that many others did very good in their own activities, and to them, I say well done and congratulations.
In closing, I wish that all of you make the same realization that I made this week. Many of us could not wait to pass through those doors and leave high school forever, myself included. However, as I was running the other day, the lyrics of a song on my IPod really made me think. The lyrics are the following:
"You're gonna miss this, you're gonna want this back, you're gonna wish these days hadn't gone by so fast. These are the good times, so take a good look around. You may not know it now, but you're gonna miss this."
I do not know about all of you, but I am going to miss the football games, I am going to miss getting out of class on Club Day, I am going to miss Mr. Jamieson's rather loud speeches, I am going to miss Ms. Green's weekly blonde joke, I am even going to miss Mrs. Richards, and I am going to miss all of you. Congratulations Class of 1009. Give yourselves another pat on the back. We made it.