RSS 2011 Valedictory speech, by Alei Mohr
Note: This speech is included as part of the Revelstoke Times Review’s RSS Grad 2011 supplement, available now in our July 6 issue.
Well, I asked some of my fellow grads for ideas about my speech and they said good luck, so thanks guys… here it goes…
I’d like to start by thanking everyone here today. You are the people who have made this possible, whether it was setting up the event, or supporting us through school. I want to give a big thank you to my parents for putting up with me for the past seventeen years; I hope it’s been bearable for you. I’d also like to thank Brady for letting me copy off him over the years and of course for writing this speech. Hopefully I can execute it without as many stumbles as you.
We will be the last class to graduate from this school, which is both exciting and disappointing. We are the Ghetto Grad and have had to put up with the construction for the past ten months. Whether it was being crammed in Biology class, putting up with the incessant noise, or having the roof leak, you all know what I’m talking about. It might have been the jackhammer going off in the middle of a lesson or beeping in the middle of a test. Even though we miss the new school and have had to put up with all the construction, it was worth it, because I can’t tell you how excited I am to be here today.
Well Grads, I had no idea how fast high school would pass us by, and it’s crazy to think of how much we’ve grown both physically and in maturity levels, although for some of us it’s been very little. High school has been that awkward journey from childhood to adulthood that’s included some of our most embarrassing moments and some of our best.
Being involved with the school has led to some awesome experiences for me. Going with the Band to San Francisco was great, and I’ll never forget that night when a couple girls on this stage and I got lost. Europe this spring break was incredible, the culture was fantastic and it was a lot of fun, although that night train was quite the experience. Seeing Bobby McFerrin live in Moscow is a concert I’ll never forget and performing the Odyssey this year in band was definitely an unbelievable experience. Bard on the Beach last year was great, and it really made me appreciate Shakespeare. Prom this year was a lot of fun, the venue was amazing, and all the sport tournaments I’ve been on have been awesome. I’ll never forget the Econo-Lodge we stayed at for Soccer Valleys last year, or when we made Volleyball Valleys this year. Watching Karina get taken out in grade eight basketball is definitely my funniest memory, and Track and Field holds some of my favourite memories, whether it was taking the jock bus down East Hastings, watching theatre sport, cheering on my teammates, or just competing myself. Dry Grad was a really fun event and I’d like to thank all the parents who made it possible. And of course this year’s Physics and Calculus class which may have been challenging at times but was “whales” of fun and was integrated with limitless puns.
I’d like to thank the all the staff in the school, from the custodians, to the secretaries, to the coaches, to the teachers, you have made the past five years amazing. Whether it was being coached by Mr. Pfeiffer while he sported his socks and sandals, Yeah! Sick!, or watching Spanny perform the Hodown Throwdown in pink skinny jeans. Mr. Robinson’s Barbie Cannon will never be forgotten along with all his other experiments, which usually involved blowing things up. Although I haven’t seen much of Mr. Weiler, because he lives in his shop, I know he’s responsible for keeping a lot of our cars running. Mrs. Deibert may be infamous for calling you by your sibling’s name, and Mrs. Maltby correcting her, but I’d like to thank her for never calling me by my brother’s. All the staff at RSS have done an excellent job and are the reason we are here today.
Some say high school is the best time of your life, but I think the best is yet to come. Although high school will be hard to top, I’m excited to get out into the real world and I hope you guys are too. Grads I ask a favour of you and that’s to not let high school define who you are. There’s a whole new world out there apart from this small school and it’s important that you go and explore it. Although high school is significant, who you were in high school doesn’t have to be who you are after. Everyone is good at something, and it’s important to find out what that is. Take the journey to discover what you love and don’t settle for any less, because you deserve it.
High school has been full of accomplishments and failures. And as you stand here today I’d like you to remember all your accomplishments, no matter how big or small, and be proud of them. But don’t forget the failures, they’ve made you stronger and overcoming them is an accomplishment in itself. I won’t focus on the failures, but I will on the accomplishments. Hosting Soccer Valleys, winning Track pendants, having class averages above the provincial standard, fundraising for Terry Fox, and supporting anti-bullying day to name a few. For such a small class we’ve accomplished a lot, but the main accomplishment is being here today on this stage.
For some of us it’s our last day together before we all head in our different directions, whether it’s to the trades, to travel, to work, or to more school, and as I look around I realize that graduation has brought us all a little closer. As a grad class I think we’ve made some great memories and we’ll be remembered, because our picture will always grace the halls of RSS.
Grads it’s an honour to be your valedictorian and it’s an honour to be here today sharing this moment with all of you. Congratulations to the RSS Grads of 2011!