Editor's Note: The following is the text of the speech delivered by Kara Morse, Valedictorian of the Class of 2011, at the Stoughton High Graduation on June 2.
Over the next few days, Stoughton Patch will be publishing the speeches and accompanying video footage of all five student speakers at and , as well as Principal Matt Colantonio's remarks at Graduation.
This is the fifth in a series of six. Read the speech or follow along while watching the video in the media gallery.
Greetings Class of 2011! It is an honor to be here speaking at the largest Snuggie Cult Meeting I have ever attended. And my first one with hats.
I'd like to thank our Superintendent, Dr. Rizzi, our principal, Mr. Colantonio, our teachers, parents, siblings, and listeners from the skate park. Thank you Ms. Fernandes, Mr. Jacobs, Mr. O'Neil and Mr. Ford. Thank you weather for graciously allowing us to be outside tonight. And finally, I would also like to give a special thank you to Mr. Davey and the band, who perform at Class Night and Graduation every year, rain or shine, the same song for 10 straight minutes. Thank you for showing up for one more year so I wouldn't have to perform at my own graduation.
It was a long year. Five days of heavy snow could not shorten the waiting time enough. Yes, the weather has been on our side this year. And yet, at the same time, I wish the year were a little longer. I wish I had more time to meet and learn the name of every person in the class. Everyone knows my name. I'd like to return the favor. I wish I had time to have a class with every teacher. Looking at the senior superlatives, there are so many great teachers I never got to spend time with. I wish I had time to look around in every classroom, join every club, find the secret stairway to A1st and play billiards with Mr. Hoyle and Mr. Burns.
On the other hand, we're finally done. We've finally finished the four hopelessly hectic years of high school so we can be ready for the real world. Everything ought to make perfect sense now. We know how to speak English and use our cell phone calculator to determine how much a 15% tip is. We can discuss our vacation plans in French or Spanish. We know the Stoughton High Mission Statement. So long as we stay in Stoughton, there is nothing we aren't prepared for.
But, alas, not everyone will stay in Stoughton, and not every problem can be solved with the Mission Statement. For those of us leaving for different ventures, don't despair. We can still survive. Because we are a class of adapters. This is a class that can roll with the punches thrown at us.
We persevered through the new policies, whether they involved ID's, hats, or the cafeteria, with grace. Although the rules were unpopular at first, we proved that we deserved to be the oldest and maturest students in the school by not fighting them. We put up with NEASC, which only gave us extra early release days and forced countless teachers to be absent for days at a time. The senior class did not even protest. By respecting the new policies, we earned respect ourselves.
Which we totally deserve. We made the best of everything we had, and made the most of every joyous occasion. We celebrated the triumphant days of Powderpuff and Spirit Week. We mourned the tragic days without a snack machine. We proudly cheered on our winning basketball team. We painfully hung our heads in shame when the teachers beat us at the student-faculty game. But even then, we remained respectful and optimistic.
That optimism has always been present, from the beginning of the year when we realized that 2011 is the most awkwardly numbered year to graduate in. Remember, although we couldn't create the most ingenious chant of all time, at least we'll be out of high school before the world ends in 2012. Sorry, sophomores. Blame the cosmos.
And finally, we had to deal with a naive new principal, who seems to think that just because he's a hip guy who gets along with everyone, he can be the senior class' best friend. Seniors, I commend you especially for putting up with this feeble attempt at improving faculty-student relations.
So now, after a whole crazy year, as seniors who are no strangers to inconvenience, we can face the world with confidence. Whatever gets in the way, we will pursue our goals with determination and ambition, wherever we find ourselves. Because we wanna be the very best like no one ever was. And with that kind of attitude, we have no other choice than to succeed.