Top students from CHS speak

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Cassville High School valedictorian address by Briana Robertson

Good afternoon classmates, families and faculty. Today is the day that we think back on the last four years of our life. I'm supposed to come up with something insightful and inspiring to say to everyone on our last day here, but let's be honest, I'm 18. I'm really not all that insightful or inspiring. Instead, I've decided to tell you all some of the things I learned from the teachers here at Cassville High. Now, I don't want to hurt any of my teachers' feelings, but I could only choose a couple teachers so I picked ones that a lot of us had.

Life lesson number one: Try not to lose things as often as Mrs. Richards but learn to love reading as much as she does. No matter what job you get, there will always be space in your mind to learn about other things. Reading can fill that space. Dr. Seuss agrees saying, "The more that you read, the more things you'll know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go."

Life lesson number two: Everything is a gray line in the sand. Coach Reuter has been saying that for a year now, and I'm still not completely sure what it means. Every time it starts to make sense, Coach Reuter says something new and loses me, kind of like how his physics classes went. It may not make sense, but I think that's the lesson we were all supposed to get from him.

Life lesson number three: You're only as big as your personality. It was always easy to forget that some students towered over Ms. Green until she looked dramatically up at their heads and stood on her toes. Her actions overshadowed anything else, and she always -- well usually -- only made fun of herself. Be kind and unique.

These may be the last lessons we get from these teachers, but they're certainly not the last things we will learn in our life. I'm going to end with a quote from Joss Whedon; one because I think it pretty much sums up graduation and two because Wil hates The Avengers. "Bottom line is, even if you see 'em coming, you're not ready for the big moments. No one asks for their life to change, not really. But it does. So what are we, helpless? Puppets? No. The big moments are gonna come. You can't help that. It's what you do afterwards that counts. That's when you find out who you are."

Cassville High School salutatorian address by James "Wil" LeCompte

Good afternoon CHS graduates, teachers, faculty and most of all our guests in attendance that have come to share this moment with the Class of 2013. I know my classmates and I truly appreciate all of the support we have received from our families and friends throughout our lives. And I would also like to extend a very Happy Mothers Day to all of the moms with us. Personally I would like to thank my family, and especially my parents, Jim and Gayle, who constantly pushed me to be a better person and student. And of course, my sisters, Danielle and Gabby, who taught me basically everything I know about life.

When I was officially named salutatorian on Monday, I was ecstatic, but then it hit me. I remembered that I would have the task of addressing my classmates and their guests with an inspirational speech. Upon learning this news, I wasted no time and began writing. However, within the first hour I had a grand total of two words, "good afternoon." Needless to say I was lost, and naturally I turned to my family for ideas. My parents told me to talk about life and its many obstacles, while my sisters suggested that I try to be as funny as possible. Unfortunately, I am not sure if any of those elements made it into this speech.

As I sat in front of my blank computer screen scouring the Internet for hours looking for inspirational quotes and anecdotes that would help the Class of 2013 through the next chapter of our lives, I came up empty. From Google to YouTube, and even Twitter I searched for an idea I could use to make this speech insightful and meaningful. Once again I found nothing that worked, and Twitter only provided a few inappropriate suggestions. I even tried to find inspiration from musicians like The Spice Girls and Kanye West. At that point I truly knew this speech would be the worst in CHS graduation history.

Then, when I thought all hope was lost, I started thinking about all of the memories I had from this institution over the past four years, both good and bad. From the bad memories such as the multiple times I embarrassed my school and family by participating in athletic events to the endless amount of good memories I had, especially during my participation in FBLA, Cassville High has provided a plethora of events that I will not soon forget. But as we graduate today, that is exactly what high school is now, only a memory. While these memories are wonderful, too often bright young students never truly leave high school, and fail to start a successful life because of their desire to live in the past. If we decide to live only through our memories, we will inevitably miss out on the exciting present.

I say this not to scare you into escaping the halls of this high school, but to encourage you to make more memories throughout life. In fact, our lives are only beginning, once we exit this gymnasium with our diplomas, the world will have suddenly opened up to endless possibilities. Without the boundaries of this restrictive school, we will, for the first time in our lives, be able to affect change upon our society. In fact we have so much freedom now that we could even vote for Democrats.

Gone are the days when people treat us like children. Today is the first day of our lives as active members of society. While this might scare many of the parents and community members, I can guarantee the world will be a better place if this Class of 2013 decides to lead us. Twenty years from now, graduates of 2013, I guarantee the memories we will make contributing to our society will be greater than those we made these past four years.

As we move into to the next chapter of our lives, whether that is at college, in the workforce or in the military, be sure to cherish the moments of Cassville High, but make sure they are only a beginning to your life full of memories.