Eight class valedictorians addressed their classmates highlighting Commencement for the Troy Buchanan High Class of 2013 held May 12 at the Family Arena in St. Charles. Their remarks centered upon success both past, present and future.
“Thirteen years ago we started the journey that lead to the seat we are sitting in right now,” said Jacob Zorn. “A journey that moved us from our first kindergarten class, to the halls of Troy Middle, to the new Ninth Grade Center to our first day at Troy Buchanan. But today isn’t about the journey, but instead about the successes along the way.”
Taylor Busse also spoke about success. “Over the years our views of success have changed. Our ideas have changed since elementary school and will continue to change throughout our lives. But all of these successes we’ve experienced and memories we’ve made have taught us life lessons we will never forget. We each will take our own experiences and carry them with us into the next chapter of our lives. I hope each of us will continue to grow and succeed with that same wonder and excitement we began with on that first day of kindergarten.”
David Haake shared a broad outlook on success. “Throughout the years we have had an immense amount of opportunities to be successful and I personally, am glad I got to share them with you, the Class of 2013. When we leave today, there will be plenty of new avenues to take and consequences to face. I wish you much luck in the future.”
“We are transitioning from one part of our life to the next,” said Dylan Sullivan. “We have all come an incredibly long way with memories of our triumph that stick with us still to this day. We all remember amazing moments but may not quite remember what all was involved in attaining this success. What it all boils down to is hard work and pride. Today marks a new chapter of our lives and we must not forget how to work hard and take pride in what we do.”
Kaylee Strawhun shared a quote from Zig Ziglar. “Success is a personal standard, reaching for the highest that is in us, becoming all that we can be. If we do our best, we are a success.”
She continued: “Throughout high school we all have been successful, some success has been simple, whereas other success more complex. Success is most commonly seen through our hard work and diligence. For the past 13 years of our life we have all succeeded in different ways and the diploma we receive as we walk across this stage is proof. The next chapter of our life will be scary at times so I would like to end with a verse that has encouraged me. Deuteronomy 31:6 says “Be strong. Take courage. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t give them a second thought because God, your God, is striding ahead of you. He’s right there with you. He won’t let you down. He won’t leave you.”
Beginning her speech, Morgan Grandon used a quote from Reggie Leach… “Success is not the result of spontaneous combustion. You must set yourself on fire.”
“On a day like today, those words ring true. The people sitting in front of me are not here by a simple matter of luck. They’re here because they dragged themselves into class and put forth the effort and determination to achieve. In my eyes, that is success. Today, we get to experience the success of watching each and everyone of our peers walk across this stage. Our success is grabbing that diploma knowing this day is just the stepping stone to the rest of our lives.”
Ryan Frantz said “This is the day we have been waiting for. The day we walk across a stage, accept our diplomas, sit down and wait for 390 people to do the exact same thing. Tomorrow, we are all going to wake up and we will laugh at the fact that underclassmen are still in school. But then we realize maybe we should begin doing something with our lives. This is really a great group of people that is going to do great things. Like our shirts said, ‘the world’s not ending. We’re just taking over.”
Cassie Park shared what is common among all graduates. “We all possess our personal dreams and goals and those ambitions all have launching sites. As we embark on each of our journeys, don’t forget to take pictures and find joy in every minute. Remember, the most crucial decisions you will ever make are, also, the most challenging. Don’t make them hastily. Success won’t come effortlessly and it won’t always be achieved with the first attempt but will be attained with enough determination and drive. It is vital we lift ourselves up when we fail and fight for our dreams, never stop the climb.”
The valedictorians in the Class of 2013 at Troy Buchanan High included front row (from left): Taylor Busse, Kaylee Strawhun, Cassie Park, Morgan Grandon. Back row (from left): David Haake, Jacob Zorn, Ryan Frantz and Dylan Sullivan.