BHS Class of 2013 Senior SpeechesPublished 6:08am Friday, May 24, 2013
Valedictorian Speech – Madison Helms
To our guests, family, faculty, and my fellow graduates, it’s a privilege to stand here today as your valedictorian. I never imagined I would receive this honor. It’s only by the support and encouragement of everyone who has impacted my life and the grace of God that I was able to achieve this at all.
It’s hard to believe that we have come to this point, that the class of 2013 is finally graduating. I still remember those first days of high school in the ninth grade, when they still hadn’t figured out how to organize the traffic, and me and my dad had to wait in the long line of cars that was stretching down the highway and I was terrified of being late. It feels like it has been forever since then, but at the same time it feels like it wasn’t all that long ago.
But here we are, the first class to go all four years at this new school. We’ve led the way here and set the standard. We have accomplished so much. I wholeheartedly believe that the things we have learned here will help everybody in my class have the potential to reach their hopes and dreams in the future. And I don’t mean just what we’ve learned academically. It takes more than math and science to make it in the real world.
To my classmates, I urge you to listen to your common sense. How many times have you changed an answer on a test only to find that your original answer was correct? There is nothing more frustrating than that. Sometimes, your common sense tells you the right thing to do, but we tend to over-think these things. Not everything is a trick question. You know what the right choice is. You just have to choose it.
I know for a fact that everyone has the potential to be successful. And success is not just measured in money or positions. Success, to me, is living a life that you can look back on and say “I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished.” Don’t let anything hold you back from your dreams. Everybody has a different definition of success, whether it’s defined by a job or by something like family. Success is what makes you happy, not somebody else. And sometimes you can find success in an unlikely place. Perhaps you’ll find yourself in a job you never expected to be in, but find that you absolutely love it, and enjoy every minute of it. Be open-minded and willing to change.
We can’t predict what the future holds. We can make a good guess, but very few things turn out the way we expected. As you continue in life, no matter what direction you go after you leave this school, you should face obstacles with a mindset that you can conquer anything. It will take a lot of work, courage, perseverance, stubbornness, and faith to overcome these challenges, but you have it in you to accomplish anything you put your mind to. Scores on a test mean nothing in the long run. The way you handle life does.
Thank you, good luck, and God bless.
Graduation Speech – Salutatorian Cassandra Henry
Good evening everyone, to Mr. Howell, Dr. Rayfield, Board of Education members, administrators, teachers, family, friends, and last but not least the unstoppable class of 2013 before I begin I would first like to give honor to God. Proverbs chapter sixteen verse three says “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.” I know that without God in my life I would not be standing before you tonight.
While preparing my speech, I sat glaring at the screen on my laptop pondering on what to say to you tonight. My thoughts were all over the place…“Should I speak about inspiration or leadership?…How long should the speech be?…I hope I’m not boring.” All of these thoughts protruded my mind.
While searching for ideas, I came across a quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Do not follow where the path may lead. Go, instead, where there is no path and leave a trail.” Fellow classmates, the class of 2013 has left a definite trail at Bainbridge High School. As the first class to attend all four years at this facility, we have laid the foundation for many of the students to come by leaving behind a trail filled with memories, tears, and adventure.
Our freshman year was a little different from most. In a sense, we were not the only freshman on campus. In 2009, this school was new to everyone, and occasionally, even a few of the teachers were lost. Now we are seniors, and our time as students at BHS has come to an end. High school has brought us many joys and a few hardships along the way. Our experiences at BHS have made us realize that high school brings new milestones and a whole new meaning to “Started from the Bottom.” — Now we’re here. Throughout our high school career, we have transformed from meek, frightened pioneers to bold, steadfast warriors entering into a challenging and unpredictable world.
Before I proceed, I would like to congratulate everyone sitting before and behind me. As your classmate, I know the struggles and obstacles many of you had to face to get to this point today.
Four years ago, we entered this wonderful facility not knowing what our future would hold or even if we would make it to this day. Being a student in today’s society has been quite a challenge, and it was only by God’s grace that all 302 of us have made it here tonight. As I’ve heard my grandfather sing so many times … (and no I’m not going to sing for you) … “no man knows the minute or the hour.” The trailblazers that we are have stepped to our minutes and our hours. We have emerged as true, proud graduates, and here stands the class of 2013 strong and ready to face anything that life throws at us.
As the class of 2013, we are very unique. Since the late 1960s, we are the first and the only class that has not attended the school on College Street. We are the first class to purposefully graduate in this wonderful, immaculate gym, and contrary to popular belief we are the BEST class that Decatur County has EVER witnessed. Class of 2013, I challenge you to be proud of the things you will do and the places you will go, but no matter where life takes you always remember, we run EVERYTHING like a boss.
As I look at all of you tonight, my heart feels heavy to know that once this ceremony is over we will all go our separate ways. For the past four years, this place has been our home, our stomping ground, our territory. This is a bittersweet moment, but I hope you will not look at this as an ending but only a new beginning.
Before I close, I would like to thank my family, especially my mom, for believing in me and motivating me to do my best. Mom, I still remember that day fourteen or fifteen years ago when you were taking me to another day of head start. As we were riding along, I counted the clouds, like I always did. I remember you telling me that I was smart enough to do anything I wanted as long as I worked hard to accomplish it. I believe you even told me I’d be Valedictorian one day. Well, mom, I must say – Salutatorian is not bad at all. I would also like to thank the faculty and staff at Bainbridge High School. Without the constant support and encouragement from our teachers, many of us would not be here today! After leaving us with sayings like “Don’t fall in a rut” “Don’t eat the cupcake” “Hooah baby” “Gee Muh Nickey” and “Ducas per duca” you all have made our time at BHS one to remember.
As the class of 2013, we are a close knit family that will soon be departing our own ways. Many of us will be going off to college, while others will be entering the workforce or joining Uncle Sam’s call to serve the nation. It has been an honor and a great pleasure to stand before you tonight as your Salutatorian.
As we each begin our new journeys, I want you to know that I love all of you, and I hope you will miss me as much as I’m going to miss you. As we all enter the world, I want you to remember Emerson’s words: “Do not follow where the path may lead. Go, instead, where there is no path and leave a trail.” We are all trailblazers! What path will you create? Which type of trail will you leave?
Thank you and God Bless