Horlick Valedictorian Offers Message of Growth
Abigail Lyon reviewed her classmates' high school career, from awkward freshmen to confident seniors at their Sunday graduation ceremony.
Abigail Lyon offered this speech to her classmates on Sunday, June 10, as she spoke at Horlick High School's graduation ceremony.
Good afternoon. I am humbled and honored to be speaking to you all today and I’d like to express my deepest gratitude for all of the staff and administrators who have poured countless hours of dedication into the success of our graduating class of 2012. I’d also like to thank all of the parents, grandparents and guardians out there for supporting and providing for us – even during the roughest of times. But most importantly, I’d like to thank the graduating class of 2012 for the unforgettable past four years and for the opportunity to be a part of such an intelligent and inspiring group of young adults.
Last week, when I sat down to write this speech I didn’t know where to begin. I think I’ve taken every type of class at Horlick except for the one that teaches you how to write a speech. However, after thinking long and hard, I figured the best place to start would be the beginning.
Despite how fast the time has flown, four years ago, we were all freshman. We were all new to Horlick, and to each other. Our concerns revolved around who the right people to be friends with were, instead of who were already our friends. We walked out of the house every morning dressed to impress with the mentality that we would be judged just as quickly as we judged those around us. We received dirty looks from the upperclassmen when we didn’t move fast enough through the halls. As freshmen, we all had the privilege of working with teachers that held the biggest responsibility of getting us on the right track and engaged in our education. I’d like to thank Mr. Eick, specifically, because he did a tremendous job of getting his classes to think, write and be passionate about all that our history has to offer us today and also to never give up on life’s opportunities.
I think it’s safe to say that by our junior year we began to feel more comfortable with ourselves and with each other – after all, we weren’t underclassmen anymore. True friendships began to take shape, but so did our class of 2012 as we cheered together at every football game, searched for colleges together, got our first speeding tickets together, and finished the hardest workload with a strong and accomplished attitude. Our junior year also brought the biggest political controversy of the decade that my government and homeroom teacher, Mr. Heinisch, took advantage of by delving into the highlights of our democracy. While I don’t agree with everything he has to say, I appreciate his passion and his ability to motivate our class to stand behind their opinions – thanks Mr. Heinisch.
Senior year – this year – we have become the closest yet. We can all laugh with each other instead of at each other and the worry of being judged is no longer present. We all understand each other and what we represent, but most importantly, we have accepted this. This year we have shared many memories – like the good laugh we had when Mr. Emmons, our calculus teacher, came back from his calculator convention with uncontained excitement about a new shortcut on the calculator. Or when Mr. Stoner made a pirate patch for the cat-head one of the biology students had dried for him from their cat dissection. And let’s be honest, we have never worn sweats for so many consecutive days as we have this year.
Despite the struggle of senioritis second semester, we all pushed through and made it to graduation day today. We all have overcome obstacles of our own these past four years, and I will be the first to tell you that I am not as good as I could be, and I am not as good as I should be, but I am better than I used to be. We all are better than we used to be, and we, as the Horlick High School class of 2012, will continue to strive to be successful.
I don’t exactly know how to feel about today – it is truly a mixture of emotions. I think I speak for everyone when I say it is a time of excitement and a time of fear. We all fear the unknown of what college, or working, or being a part of the military has to offer, but the excitement compensates for this and eagerness strikes. I am excited to see what the future has to offer for each and every one of you. We have become a group of young adults with intelligence, confidence, empathy, power, and vision. With this, the future is what we make of it, and I know that the push through high school doesn’t end here. Persevere through the next chapter in your life and use the tools that the past four years have taught you to contribute to our society for the better. I have the utmost faith in all of you that your success does not end here. Congratulations class of 2012 – we’re done with high school and onto bigger and better things!