Thermopolis Independent Record - Your source for news in Hot Springs County

HSCHS Salutatorian, Valedictorian graduation speeches

 


Courtney Jeunehomme

Salutatorian speech

Good afternoon, I’d like to start off and thank all the people who showed up...especially the graduating seniors. Our class is like herding cats, you can’t ever get everyone to show up unless you bribe them. I kid, of course, and truly thank parents, staff, and other members of the community who have supported the class of 2019. It is an honor to stand on this stage on behalf of my class.

Graduation is a great deal, but the greatest thing that comes out of graduation, is the idea that the end is just the beginning. Although it may seem like it’s over, the life of a young adult has just started. Some wish to pursue college, others pursue the work force. Either way, there are still new opportunities we will experience, good or bad. With each stone we step, there comes challenges, but the fact that all of us here today have made this huge step to graduation is nothing short of a miracle. Others gave up in the face of a challenge, but for those who didn’t, we all learned from mistakes. Without these mistakes and challenges, we would have never grown to be the people we are today. For mistakes we seem to stress about, remember the wise, humorous words of comedian Stephen Colbert, “don’t cry over spilled milk. By this time tomorrow, it’ll have turned into free yogurt.”

One of the things I truly do believe in is how we find ourselves. We can google almost everything except how to find who we are. Graduation certainly hasn’t made me who I am today, but the events that led up to this moment are what allowed me to be who I am today. However, I could have followed a different path. Everyone has faced hardships where they were faced with a new path. Some good and others bad, but the fact of the matter is, is to follow what we feel is right. There is only one person who can be you, but you can follow someone else’s path. As Ellen Degeneres says, “follow your passion, stay true to yourself, never follow someone else’s path...unless you’re in the woods and you’re lost and you see a path then by all means you should follow that.”

If you haven’t already fallen asleep by my generic salutatorian speech, before I take my leave, I would like all those who are able, to stand up. Now, turn to the person to your left. Now turn to the person to your right. Alright, you may all take a seat. Now, if anyone asks you, you can now say you were moved by my speech. Thank you.

Lane Randall

Valedictorian speech

When I sat down to write this speech, I asked myself “What should I talk about? What is my purpose for giving this speech?” Naturally, I did a quick Google search to get my answer and I found that the purpose of a valedictory address is to deliver a persuasive, moving, and uplifting speech. I thought Alright, well that sounds simple enough, I think I can do that. Spoiler alert, it was not that simple and I still struggled to come up with anything. I got to thinking about what the most important part of public speaking is. I came to the conclusion that the audience is probably the most important part, because without an audience I would just be up here talking to myself. Now as fun as that sounds, today is not the day for that. So, in order to successfully deliver this speech I had to win over my audience and make sure they enjoyed what I was going to say. American poet and performing artist G-Eazy once said “You have to be dope. You have to find an audience and reach that audience with your identity and your message.” I think the best way to be dope is to give my audience what they want, and I know what you all want. You want me to shut up and get off the stage so we can move on with this ceremony and get out of this hot and stuffy gymnasium. So with that in mind I will do my best to keep this short and to the point so we can get this done faster. Those of you that know me well know that I am a man of few words so that shouldn’t be a problem.

Firstly I have a few words for all of our teachers. Now, I would like to name all the teachers that have influenced us throughout our high school career, but at the rate we went through teachers over the past four years I would be here all day. To the teachers that are still around and have taught us, thank you for always keeping us seniors on our toes and making sure that those of us who made it to our Senior year also made it to graduation. Now there are a handful of teachers and staff members who have actually been at HSCHS during all four years that we were here and I would like to give them a special message.   Mr. Jenks, Mrs. Daniels, Ms. Thoren, Mrs. Emery, Mr. VanHeule, Mr. Deromedi, Mrs. O’Connor and Mrs. Apland, thank you for sticking it through with us, I know that couldn’t have been easy. But, I do have good news for you. You will never have to deal with us again, so congratulations.

Now, for all of my classmates, I have one word for you and I would bet that you could guess what it is. If you guessed that it was “Congratulations” then you would be correct. Now, I know that that sounds cliche, and to be honest it kind of is. However, when you take into account the less than successful track record for our class, I genuinely mean it when I say congratulations to you all. Today, we are all here doing something that many of our former classmates could not accomplish, and we should all be very proud of ourselves. As we all go our separate ways and begin the next chapter of our lives, I am confident that each and every one of us will be successful.

So, I think I am correct when I say that as every graduating class leaves their school, it is their collective goal to leave a lasting legacy. To leave behind something that the classes to follow will remember. Now, this is usually done in the form of a prank or a perfect sports season or something along those lines. As a school, we had a very successful school year in all aspects with many state championships and broken records. However, we seniors kind of dropped the ball in the prank department. Now that doesn’t mean that the Class of 2019 hasn’t left a legacy behind, because I believe we have. This legacy we’ve left behind isn’t the most traditional, but it’s definitely one that will be remembered for years to come and one that won’t be easily replaced. Of course, I am talking about the one and only, Handsomepants. Some people may say that the only legacy our class will leave behind is a long list of negative adjectives, but the irreplaceable Handsomepants will be remembered at the very least by all of us.

As I near the end of my speech, I would like to reflect on all of the things that we have lived through in our short four years at HSCHS. Way back in 2015 when we were all freshman, NASA took the first close up pictures of Pluto, Drake dropped Hotline Bling, and we were all arguing about whether the dress was white and gold or blue and black. 2016 brought with it the end of the Ebola outbreak and the new deadly Zika Virus, scary murder clowns, and a World Series win for the Chicago cubs for the first time in 108 years. In 2017, everyone had a fidget spinner, we all got to watch the total solar eclipse, and the Falcons blew a 28-3 lead in the Superbowl. In 2018, we finally got a sequel to The Incredibles, Elon Musk launched a Tesla into space, and Stephen Hillenburg, the creator of Spongebob, passed away. And now, just in these first few months of 2019, we have seen tragic events such as the fire at Notre Dame as well as wonderful works of art like Avenger’s Endgame. Of course we will also officially be done with high school within the next hour, so that’s pretty cool right? It’s crazy how much can happen in four short years. I don’t know about you guys, but it’s kind of hard for me to believe. Most of us have been going to school together for thirteen years, and in a few months we will all be going our separate ways. To me, that thought is just crazy, but I know that we will all do great things in the years to come.

Now, if everyone could do me a favor and stand up. Now take a step to the right. Ok good, now go back to the left. Perfect, you can sit down now.

Now that I have successfully uplifted, persuaded, and moved you all, I will bring this speech to an end. I also hope that this wasn’t too long, after all, I did promise to keep it short for you all. Thank you.

Jeffery VanAntwerp

Valedictorian speech

I’m not gonna lie I have a bad feeling about this because before this, Nichole Weyer told me she would tell a joke before my speech, but all she did was say my name. I’m a little worried, but nevertheless the show must go on. Now I know what you’re thinking, “Oh Jeff, he’s probably gonna sing one of them amazing Conway Twitty songs he’s always chanting down the hall way,” Well, Your absolutely right, “HIT IT”. Nah I’m just playing I’ll save that for a later date. No today I’m gonna do something you would never expect to happen at a graduation, I am going to publicly recite a combination of my own thoughts and words that will mix into a crescendo of thought and knowledge which will burst throughout the audience in chaotic wonder and amusement, or in layman terms, give a speech. Now I don’t want to take up too much of your time on this beautiful Sunday afternoon but I do want to leave you with one thing to remember me by after I’m gone, you could call it a legacy. Something that has helped me through my years of school along with sports and activities, something that has given me the success I am still enduring to this day, something that can’t be learned in a class or taught from a book, something that can never be taken from me, something that a wise man told me long ago. That something is the difference between good and great.

Before I move on I need to get everyone’s attention, “MONEY, FREE WHISKEY, and WILD WOMEN”. Now that I have everyone’s attention, or at least all of the outlaws and old prospectors’ in the gym, I don’t know how many of those are here but I’ve got their attention. I know some of you might already know what I’m about to say but for those of you who don’t, please listen to this sage advice that’s worth its weight in gold. A good hand is someone who does all they are asked, does everything on time, does it right, and doesn’t complain. Seems like that’s about as good as it gets right? Wrong. The great hand does everything the same as a good hand but throws in the two cents. He sweeps the floors and cleans the windows before the shop opens, they make sure everything is more than what is asked, and they take advantage of every opportunity to make the job more efficient. They do what they need to get ahead. I’ve never considered myself to be a smart person, but a great worker with a will to learn. If you have trouble in believing that, then you need ask yourself, who exactly is giving the speech right now, and if you don’t know it’s me, THE VALEDICTORIAN. There’s never been an imagination that I was athletic, but there is a reality where the most unathletic great hand is an All State football player. Good to Great is a lifestyle lived by someone who wants to be great and have success. It’s not an easy lifestyle but is one achievable by all those who choose to follow. There’s no secret formula or code to being a valedictorian, or a star player on your team, the CEO of a company, or a great parent, it’s simply the desire and will to become it, and gapping the distance between good to great. I believe with all my heart it is something that has worked for me and will work for everyone if it hasn’t already. Especially for the graduating class of 2019. And that’s the kind of imprint and legacy I wanted to leave behind for everyone today.

Now in saying that I want to give out some thank yous. Now the good to great stuff got me a long ways, but without these people, I would not be standing here today giving this speech. I want to start off by thanking all of the supporters and families who have been true to the school and show that the identification of bobcat is more than just a school. With a special Thank you to the amazing scholarship donors and sponsors from local, state, and national levels. Your support as educational progressers is outstanding and it’s a pleasure to be apart of that process. I want to thank the fabulous staff here that has made our education possible, all the lunch ladies, custodians, bus drivers, and administrators that have helped give us the best environment for an education that we have the honor of receiving. I want to thank all of the teachers and coaches that have not only impacted me but so many others as well. Without you and your sacrifices, nobody would know or learn anything, you guys are the real MVP’s. With a special shoutout to PBD and SIDH. Shoutout to POY’s. You represent this school and everyone inside very well with your work and recognition. I want to thank my amazing friends and classmates that have been with me for the long haul and have made my experiences here ones to remember, especially this year. I thank my amazing family that has supported me through all of my endeavors and have never ceased to be a working definition of the word family. Especially my late grandma Faye who was one of my biggest supporters who lived her life for nobody but her family, and proud to be a short balding Van Antwerp with no promise of future growth in terms of height. I think, I might regret that in a couple years, especially when I’ve only got a couple strands of hair and people begin to use me as an elbow rest. Moving on, I want to thank my amazing parents for loving, guiding, and most importantly teaching me to be the kind of person that I am today. I am a reflection of those who have impacted my life, and they are my biggest contributors. Lastly, I want to thank God for blessing me with what I have been given in life, I wouldn’t want it any other way.  

Now for my class. I know what they say about us, but we need to focus on our star player and live life to the fullest. And remember, as Conway Twitty once said,“Listen to advice, but follow your heart.” It’s been a great ride with some amazing people and I wouldn’t trade my time here with you guys for anything. Hot Springs County it’s been a heck of a ride and it’s been a pleasure to be your valedictorian, student body president, and school board student trustee. And for the Last time, DESE BISCUITS! Thank you so much. Later on Thermop.

 

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