Opinion

Valedictorian's speech: Agassiz is such a unique school

Adrienne Ferguson was this year
Adrienne Ferguson was this year's AESS valedictorian, delivering a heartfelt message to her peers.
— image credit: Jessica Peters/ Observer

My name is Adrienne Ferguson. Most of you probably recognize me as the girl harassing your kids all year to volunteer. Obviously it worked, because we are all here today.

I would like to thank our friends, family, and community members for being here tonight. I would also like to thank my classmates for giving me the honor to speak on behalf of them this evening. The hardest part of writing my speech was trying to put into words how it feels to finally be graduating. It's bittersweet, surreal, and it seems like it has come way. Too. Fast.

Whenever I tried asking my classmates how they felt about graduation they would say to me, “I don’t want to think about it!” It’s hard to think that the life we have been living for six years is finally over. I’ve known some of my classmates since pre-school, with Miss Marge and Miss Milly, and that’s a special connection a lot of kids aren’t able to make with each other.

We’ve watched each other grow, make it through a lot of bad haircuts and questionable outfits. Myself included. I don’t want to get too melodramatic, it's only high school. Regardless, it is a big change. 2014 has been a year of a lot of lasts. Last basketball game, last band concert, or maybe your last exam ever. While all these things sound surreal, 2014 is also going to be filled with many firsts. First year of university, first job, or even your first load of laundry done all by yourself.

All these milestones may seem small, but they are only the start of many to come. From the last minute essays, to the milk runs we didn’t really run, it has been a good year. We should always remember our classmates too, not just the big things.

Bailie and Kaelin's laughter greeted us every morning as they tried to make it through the announcements. The slamming of the fooseball table as it was dominated by Desireah and Esa added to the chaos known as the commons room.

I know that I will always remember a certain pair of brightly clad gentleman walking down the hall way on anti-bullying day, decked out in pink, including pink leggings. Ross… Jordan…

There are some sour memories that might stick with us too, like the four accidents that have happened in the student parking lot. Or the hassle of our portfolios, constantly being asked by Mrs. Graham if we are done. Most of us weren’t. Thank you Mrs. Graham.

The hot nights at the race track, and the wet Saturdays spent sorting bottles have paid off, because we have made it on stage, and our bags are packed for river rafting. While it is important to reflect on our memories, it is also important to acknowledge those who have helped us get here. All of our accomplishments couldn’t have happened without those who have supported us. I would like to thank our family members who reminded us to do our homework, and woke us up every morning. I know that without my mom I would have missed a lot more school and I’m sure some of classmates owe the same debt to their mom or dad.

I want to thank our friends that helped take our minds off the stress of school and helped make certain classes bearable. Lastly I would like to thank our teachers and support staff. Those of you who have put up with our shenanigans, our arguments and helped us become the young adults we are now.

Agassiz is such a unique school because of the enormous amount of support the students here receive throughout our six years. We’ve all had Mrs. O’Brien ask us how our day is going, Mr. Watson or Mr. Penner remind us that we can always come in and get extra math help.

Sure our school is small, but here you aren’t just a student number, you’re a student that that Agassiz cares about. Not many schools have teachers that know all your cousins, siblings, and may have taught your parents.

Now I know my speech has been light-hearted, but I do want to leave my classmates with a piece of advice as we make our way into the ‘adult’ world.

Every now and again we’re reminded that we are the future, and the world rests in our hands. Now that is a big task to give some 17 and 18 year olds. In my opinion, it's everyone’s job to create a better future. And I hope everyone is listening to me when I say, you don’t have to be a climate scientist or a CEO of a big company, you just have to be yourself. You just have to work a little bit everyday on being the best version of yourself. If you can be proud of the person you are, you can be proud of the world that you are helping to build. Thank you.

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