Farewell Speech 2013
Good evening everyone,
When I found out that I was going to be doing the farewell speech for tonight’s festivities, I was filled with excitement, and also panic. Thankfully my public speaking mentor, none other than Tanya Gilchrist prepared me for speaking in front of you all tonight. I had immediately begun to think of what to write that would melt hearts and bring tears to all the eyes of the mothers gathered here today. I wanted to express all of the phenomenal qualities that my talented classmates possess, but just one evening cannot detail all of the surprises, quirks, genius and striking good looks that you see on stage tonight.
Tonight we come before you as the senior class of 2013. Many of you have watched us grow up – from rambunctious kindergarteners, to hormonal junior high students, and now, to the mature, and not so mature *cough Benson* young men and women that we have transformed into. It’s difficult to imagine that so long ago we started off on this journey, and here we are now, celebrating its end. To be concluding this adventure is not only an achievement for us as individuals, but one that is shared between us all. I personally could not ask for a better group to be sharing this stage with me this evening. We have reached this significant milestone together, and with it the close of the initial chapter in our lives, but if anything, we have learned that for whatever is yet to come, with the support of our friends, family, and community, we will never have to face our challenges alone.
Even as my friends sit before you, intelligent, determined, and driven, it is out of the question that we got to where we are today by ourselves. Its overused and cliché, but there is no better description than the famous saying, “it takes a village to raise a child,” and that is why I want to extend thanks on behalf of our graduating class to so many.
First, I would like to address the parents. As our parents and guardians, you know all too well our struggles of high school. You were never too busy or too tired for any one of the insignificant and endless problems we seemed to face. From the beginning you were our support systems. Our dirty diapers, scratches and tears turned into bad report cards, crushes, and ugh…puberty. Through all of the sports, the meets, the tournaments, the festivals, drama, homework and exams, you, our parents were there behind us, 100% of the way with encouragement and unconditional love. To you we owe our morals, our values, and our ethics. You have provided us all with the foundation upon which we will build the rest of our lives. Whatever is in store for us, we know that we will always have a safe and loving place to come home to.
To our elementary teachers, whatever school my classmates may be from, you have instilled inside of us the seeds of life. Creativity, manners, and basic skills that even today we continue to build on. Well before you today, is the fruit of your labor. Without your determination and kindness we would not be the students that we have grown into.
To our junior high teachers, for keeping us out of trouble as much as you could! For keeping us in line and simultaneously managing to educate us, and prepare us for Mr. Muhlbeier’s infamous homework load, we owe you so much more than a simple thank you. Mr. Peterson’s drive is reflected in many students before us today. And to Mrs. Fletcher, our junior high days are dearly missed, with your imagination, and creativity…and yes-we do actually use Power in real life.
Finally to our high school teachers, who bravely embraced the rollercoaster we know as diploma preparation. You have all taken so much time to help, teach, and coach us. Definitely underpaid, you have had to endure almost as much as our parents! Unphased by the drama and attitude given daily, you always kept us and our futures in mind, even when we all thought you just hated us. You are role models, and your lasting impact is something that I can guarantee will not be forgotten, and your efforts will not be lost on our class. It may take longer than graduation, but eventually every single one of us will understand the great lengths you took to help us succeed, and reach our goals. Thank you.
Last but certainly not least, I would like to thank our community members. You all have watched out for us, made sure we were relatively well behaved, and helped in keeping us safe. The best thing about growing up in a small town is that everyone knows everyone. It’s guaranteed that you will always be greeted with a smile, which is sure to brighten the day. With that in mind however, it’s probably also the worst thing, I mean it sure makes things difficult sometimes, like when Tanya, Alyssa and I were sent uptown for Mr. H, and were stopped by three parents threatening to call our mothers!
Now, it would be really peachy to tell everyone here that all of us were straight ‘A’ students, who always handed in our homework on time, never sassed our teachers, and certainly never had water-fights with Mr. Faber…right Nicole? However, we all know that that is not always how life works. No one is perfect, except for you of course Dallyn, and it is with our imperfections, our mistakes and our learning that we have been stitched closer together.
To all of my classmates, you are wonderful people. Over the years I have had the honor of getting to know you, learn from you, and laugh with you. Our shared experiences bond us, and high school has definitely brought with it countless memories that we can treasure and look back on long after we leave these familiar halls. Colin’s hatred for Hamlet and voice overs of the queen will not soon be forgotten, and I don’t think that Mrs. Prehn will ever enjoy any future readings quite that much! Mrs. Coupland’s and Sonya’s joint love of herb, or of course, Justin’s perfect hair…but Justin, for future references, ask one of the girls to dye your mustache next time.
I honestly could not ask for a more unique and special collaboration of people to celebrate with tonight. I wish I could put into one simple word that could describe all of the amazing qualities that this class represents, but it’s literally impossible to accurately describe a group with aspirations and dreams that range from nursing, engineering, passionate farming, teaching, mission work, and everything else in between. With all of the differences, both great and small, present in these people it’s hard to believe the strength of the bonds we have formed, and the lasting memories we have all created.
Desirae, I can truthfully say that never before have I met someone with so much personality and kindness packed into one heart. Always with a smile, an infectious laugh and a relentless love for Bieber, you are an amazing friend. Never lose your spirit, with your spunk and energy you can achieve anything you set your mind to.
Nathan, with academics, sports, and of course, your figurative sassy pants you are an all-around great guy. Your capability to lead and follow when necessary is commendable. Always with a smile, and witty remark, you never leave a situation without humor! Nathan, with all of your skills and assets and charm, you are sure to achieve anything you set your mind to.
Caitlyn, at first I had believed you were a shy and timid girl…boy was I wrong! With such an outgoing personality, a focus on your studies, and a talent for coaching, you are going to go so far. You are very caring, and you’re always the girl to try and settle a situation. Your big heart and determination will take you anywhere you want to go, and I know you will make an excellent teacher in the future.
Max, with a heart of solid gold, filled with ambition and compassion, you are already a winner. Your welcoming nature and friendliness will open many doors in your future and the seemingly endless range of talents you possess is impressive and overwhelming! Believe in yourself and you will without a doubt succeed.
Shalee, my very first memory of you is swimming at the Castor pool, and you came over and tried to offer me a tuna sandwich and become friends… well your loving nature sure hasn’t changed since then! With a passion for art, a desire to help, and your hard work in school, it’s obvious you are destined for a world of success.
David, your fun-loving nature is always a pleasure to be around. You are passionate about all that you do, and you always push yourself to greater limits, and it shows. The excellence you achieve in hockey, the academics you strive for, and the work that you do all demonstrate your determination. Continue with your hard work Dave, and you will achieve anything.
Tania Eljurdi, there is much more to say about you besides your good looks! With your compassion, friendly disposition, and desire to have a good time, you are very well rounded. Sports and a love of fashion is your claim to fame! Your ability to multitask and adapt are excellent qualities that will lead you to victory in your future.
Branden, although many probably notice your hair first (which is of course looking fantastic), what I notice is the kindness in your eyes. Behind your tough guy act it’s obvious you are actually very caring. With your love of art, animals, and your friends and family, you are so much more than meets the eye. Your great work ethic and your ability to tackle any situation are going to be invaluable in your future.
Nicole, seemingly shy and quiet, your personality takes wing around your friends! Never before have I seen such a transformation. Able to focus and work hard, and the next minute you’re falling on the ground because Brittany and Jenna shot you! A wonderful girl full of talents, who always has perfect hair, Nicole your multitude of skills and your friendly attitude will help you reach success.
Matthew, I think that if anyone was ever unsure before, you bringing a calf to school has sealed your future as becoming a farmer! You are a genuine sweetheart Matt, always with kind words for everyone, a friendly greeting, and true listening skills you are one of a kind. Your hard work at the farm, or in sports, or most definitely at school, is admirable. Your desire to learn and succeed is rare, and it will help you achieve anything in the future. And if that isn’t enough some days, I’m sure your caffeine fixes will!
Brittany Jordahl, little miss attitude! You are always guaranteed to put a smile on anyone’s face. You love to have fun, and live in the moment and your energy and positive outlook on life is infectious. Your talents range all over the place, from skidooing, snowboarding, and working with children. You are capable of so much, and will excel in whatever you chose to do.
Tristan, I know you love and exceed all expectations in sports, but just don’t get hurt again. Your talents in athletics are innumerable! Your kindness, humor, and demeanor are all amazing traits that you possess. Your love of your family and friends is undeniable, and your ability to adapt to all people and situations will take you very far in life.
Brittany Steinwand, you are a girl with endless talents, and endless laughs. Sports are no match for you, you are musically inclined, and you are determined. Always with others’ feelings foremost in your mind, you are full of consideration. Able to have fun, and still get the job done, your happy-go-lucky ways will open many doors in your future.
Benson, how anyone can ever keep a straight face around you is a mystery. Always full of jokes and wit, being around you is never a dull moment. You are skilled in school, sports, and the workplace. With ambitions and goals, and your multitude of talents, your outgoing personality and determination will be able to take you anywhere.
Jenna, there is so much more to you than words can even describe, although I know many will always think of you as Dallyn’s secret admirer! With endless capabilities you will breed success wherever you may go. Your academics, love of music, poetry, and Stephan King is shown in all the work you put forth. Your drive, empathy and insight are forever going to aide you.
Liam, Leeman, Lima Bean, whichever you prefer, you are full of kindness and enthusiasm. You are very determined, and achieve all that you set your mind to. Your love for sports, friends, family, and of course animals contributes to the wonderful person that you are. Your copious talents and dreams will lead you to the right path in your future.
Alyssa, you cannot easily be so shortly summed up. With such an excessive amount of goodness to you, you are an all-around loved and amazing girl. Art, sports, school… all of these things are a piece of cake for you! With your bright ideas, creativity, and unique personality, you are truly a diamond in the rough. You will achieve anything you set your mind too.
Colin, you are a fighter. Tough as nails, I bet you even could eat gravel for breakfast. With your mad love of gaming, voice-overs, friends and family you are a fantastic friend and person. You work hard, and strive for what you want, and it’s obvious in everything you do. I know that personally, I will never forget how you always made me laugh. You are destined to succeed in everything you do.
Sonya, the queen of rodeo, the singing star, and the third musketeer, you are always guaranteed for a laugh and for putting an ache in someone’s belly! You are involved with sports, singing, music, and school, and your achievements are incredible. Never a dull moment, you always try and believe the best of everyone. You will have no problem climbing that ladder to success.
Jonathan or more commonly known as “G-man”, your little blue car and your guitar are definitely your biggest claims to fame. Always with a big grin, and a way with the ladies, you always have something going on. Your laid back ways and easygoing nature are excellent skills that will take you far.
Malorie, if I have anything to be thankful for, it’s that I don’t get worked like you do on the Schwenk farm! Your awe-inspiring work ethic is extremely rare, and that is in whatever you do. Sports and academics are what you are known for! Well, that and your hyperactivity! You are a great girl, who is going to reach unbelievable heights.
Ethan, you have such a collection of skills I am overly impressed. Farming, operating machinery, vehicles, and of course that fantastic bike, are just a few of your talents. With a fun personality, and a tough-as-nails persona, you will be some tough competition in whatever you do, and you will reach your goals very easily.
Jacob, you are one tough cookie. With a knack for machinery, computers, and vehicles, you are a limitless fountain of knowledge! You excel in school and all other things you set your mind to. Always able to have fun, you are tactful and honest. You will be a force to reckon with!
Justin, with your crazy personality, your fun-loving attitude, and your perfect hair, you are a loveable friend. Your talents in sports and with vehicles are endless. The care that you portray and your determination not only to succeed, but to enjoy doing it is so commendable, and I am sure you will excel in whatever path you choose to take.
Ryan, the academic genius, who knows and flaunts it! Your talents are plentiful, and you are a genuine individual. Academics, athletics, farming…you name it and Ryan you could probably do it. You work hard and it pays off, just be sure to be sassy under your breath. You are undoubtedly set for triumph, and will attain all of your goals you set your mind to.
Clay, you are a wonderful person, who loves to have a good time. Charm, athletic abilities, and your fun and outgoing personality draw people to you. You are smart and hardworking, and as long as you stick to your plan, no one can stop you from reaching phenomenal accomplishment.
Dallyn, I can’t even begin to fully describe you. Smart, well rounded, knowledgeable, sensible, athletic…I’m going to stop before your head gets too big. You are goal oriented, and organized. Not only can you have fun, but you can prosper from doing so. A natural born leader, I have no fear that I will hear of you one day, so never lose focus and I know you can achieve greatness.
Nathaly, your compassion and empathy and motivation are unmatched. You love limitlessly, you work hard, you are focused, and selfless. You have a plan and you are going to follow it. Do not let hardships or negativity get in your way on the path to success. You can have fun, and know when to lead, but also when to step down. A good friend to all and your collaboration of skills that range from athletics to music to art and so much more will all help you to become the best you can be. With these qualities I know you can conquer anything.
Last, but certainly not least, Tanya Gilchrist. It’s very difficult to sum you up. I have known you since before I could even crawl. You are full of desire and determination. Your love for your friends and family is abundantly clear, and your passion that you put into everything you take on is something I admire in you. You work very hard, you have a goal in mind, and you will reach it, but you’ll have fun doing so. You are never one to pass up on something new and exciting, and you love adventure. Your skills in the athletic and academic apartments are endless, and your determination, drive, and ambition will let you soar to endless possibilities.
We all take for granted the relationships that have developed within our class. Each one of us has learned from each other, and created a lasting bond. Now together we are facing the future, one of undetermined fate that lacks regularity. We are all leaving much more than just this school, we are leaving familiarity and comfort. This is going to strip us, and let us begin anew with plenty of exciting opportunity and new experiences to come. I am just as naïve and inexperienced as the rest of you, so any advice I have to give is probably not that helpful. However, with so many people in our lives to guide us, we can look to those who have lived full and rewarding lives, one such inspirational woman being Helen Keller, a woman entirely in her own league who once said, “the best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.” I encourage you to think of these words, to understand, and to walk into your future without falter, to take control being driven by your passions and dreams. I wish each and every one of you success, but above all I wish you happiness, whatever your definitions of those words may be. Go out and leave your impact, your mark on the world, and leave behind a little piece of you for future generations, like the tattoos that we have left on this town.