Top students from CHS speak

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Cassville High School valedictorian address by Amy Stockton

We have finally reached the ever-hoped-for day of freedom. The class of 2010. Not only are we graduating, but we are doing so as a complete class. Not one of our peers is missing from our class because of a death or incompletion during the senior year. That in itself is an honorable and rare occasion. We have had our share of accident-prone incidents however. Thank God we can all share this day together.

The past four years have been one adventure after another. As seniors, we've come to long for the days when the unknowing underclassman would dare to walk past Mrs. Richards without their IDs or in any other violation to the dress code. This is not because we desire justice to reign equally in the halls, but merely because we know that if it happens during our hour, then while she marches the offender to Mr. Jamieson, the law enforcement of our sacred halls, we have a good 10 minutes in which we can finish our DGP or other English homework that we "accidentally" forgot to do or, should I say, could not get squeezed in during the class before.

We have to be the bravest class as well. We have endured countless fire alarms and not so much as blinked an eye at the thought of fire. Need I mention this is merely because the spasmodic alarms went off every day of our freshman year during the building construction. We no longer believe in the possibility of a fire in this building.

We have made innumerable memories as a class, but now we are heading off in different directions to become our own individuals in life. As Tom Brokaw once said, "You are educated. Your certification is in your degree. You may think of it as the ticket to a good life. Let me ask you to think of an alternative. Think of it as your ticket to change the world."

Another famous man, Ralph Waldo Emerson, gave us this thought, "Do not follow where the path may lead. Go, instead, where there is not a path and leave a trail." We can achieve whatever goals we have a mind to attain. I am confident in this ability and the potential of our class. We will have our share of challenges. However, we cannot be on top of the mountain without first walking through the valley to its base and then climbing past its challenges.

Henry Ford said that "obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal." Your life will only be as successful as your dreams combined with however much effort you put into them. Nothing short of the love of God and family comes free in today's world. We must work for our success and accomplishments. We will only be as great as we make ourselves. I know without a doubt, that we will make a remarkable journey with the rest of our lives.

Larry Bird said that, "a winner is someone who recognizes his God-given talents, works his tail off to develop them into skills, and uses these skills to accomplish his goals." My fellow classmates and friends, we have been blessed as a class and as individuals. Take what God has granted and make your lives great. I'd like to leave you with this thought from an unknown author, "Live every day as if it were your last because one of these days you will be right." God bless.

Cassville High School salutatorian address by Mathew Angel

Good afternoon. It's nice to see so many people here in support of the class of 2010. First of all, I would like to congratulate all the graduates on finally completing high school. This is probably the second most exciting day in our young lives up to this point. "What is the first?" many of you ask. Following long deliberation, I have come to the conclusion that the most exciting day in our lives was marked by the arrival of the ice cream machine.

Speeches of this nature generally offer words of wisdom and advice for the future. I'm only going to talk about some valuable things I have learned while in Cassville. You may choose to take my words as advice or not. Nevertheless, several things have proven vital to my success as a person.

I have found it important to surround myself with good people. As a young boy, I was kind of a loner, a one-man wolf pack if you will. Over the years, however, the pack has grown; and those people whom I have come to love have really added meaning to my life. Not only have they made the trip more enjoyable, but they have kept me focused on my goals and out of trouble. My first great friend was Courtney DeRonde. We were neighbors as young children and shared many adventures. Though she no longer lives in Cassville, she remains one of my greatest friends. Justin Mills moved here in fourth grade. He and I conquered many a spelling bee even if I still have a little trouble spelling the word muscle. Colby Reavis and I first shared a class in fifth grade. It was always a contest to see who could amass the largest vocabulary. Man we were weird. Marti Richmiller and I began our friendship with the mummifying of a chicken in our gifted class. She knew I was a little different, but she didn't care. I shared great times with Emily Orrell in the fifth grade even though she doesn't remember I was in her class. Travis Northern moved to Cassville in the eighth grade. Our mutual love of sports seemed to seal our friendship. I would have mentioned Gail Edie earlier, but she was slightly mean as a child. Nevertheless, I finally worked up the courage to befriend her by the time we reached high school. I got to know Trevor Tanner and Colton Beck during football this last year. They have been great friends. Together, all these people have molded me into who I am today. Thank you all so much for the great times we have had together.

I have also learned to make the best out of every situation. Many times, it is possible to turn a bad thing around and make it good, like that time they took the ranch dressing off the condiment table at lunch. That was a horrible day; but looking on the bright side, we see that - well - there may be no bright side in that case. That was probably a poor example. But think about this very day for instance. For the past 13 years, we have been forced to endure day after day of monotonous schooling and long grueling hours of homework. Now that it's over, we can look back with fond memories of good times shared with our friends and celebrate our passage into the adult world. Today represents all that we have worked for up to this point and all that we will achieve from here moving forward. While it may not have seemed worth it at the time, I'm willing to bet that you all can see just how great it has been.

Lastly, don't take life too seriously. My years in high school have definitely taught me this lesson. While it is important to challenge yourself and do your best, it is equally important to get out and have some fun. During my years here, I took different classes only up to a point. I felt that I needed to have time to play sports, go out with friends, and occasionally remove the C from the sign on our school. This philosophy has helped in making me a well-rounded person. If ever in life you feel like you no longer enjoy yourself or what you do, maybe it's time to switch things around. You only have one life to live so take some enjoyment in what you do.

I said I wasn't going to do this, but I lied. I have one piece of wisdom that I feel you should all follow. Don't give unsolicited advice; people hate it.

Finally, I would like to thank everyone who has made this wonderful day possible. Thank you, teachers and administrators for helping us all along the way. Thank you to my parents and grandparents and the rest of my family and friends here today. You have been the support and inspiration for me to reach my goals and develop a strong moral foundation. Thanks to the community of Cassville for providing an excellent place in which to grow. Most of all, thank you fellow graduates for making this the most enjoyable 13 years of my life. I wish you all the best that life has to offer.