North Santa Rosa

JHS Salutatorian, Maranda Wise, -Be Who You Are

Maranda Wise, Salutatorian of the JHS Class of 2012 presented this speech at graduation:

Good evening class of 2012, proud parents, grandparents, family friends, faculty, and staff of Jay High School. Now, for any of you who know me, you have probably heard me complaining about having to deliver this speech for the past several months. I haven’t exactly been subtle about it. So, let me start this off by telling all of you a little story. A few weeks ago, Mr. Marcilliat, Jay High School’s new principal, pulled Sawyer, Tessa, and I aside after a senior meeting to tell us what our speeches are supposed to be about. I was assigned our class history, and I was instantly okay with that. I decided right then and there that I was going to walk up to this podium tonight and “wing it.” Less than an hour later, I decided that that was the stupidest idea of my entire life and nearly had a panic attack in the math hallway. Needless to say, I wrote the speech. So, here it goes:

First off, I want to congratulate the class of 2012 for making it this far and thank everyone for coming: parents, siblings, grandparents, other family members, the faculty and staff of Jay High School, friends, and even fellow students. Without the love and support you have all given us over the years, none of us would be here today, ready to take on this new chapter of our lives. Secondly, I want to inform everyone here that public speaking, quite frankly, terrifies me and if I pass out before this is over, please continue with the ceremony. Because this is not about me. It is about the class of 2012 and everything they— we — have overcome in the past twelve years as students.

We all have different stories, just as we all have different parents, dreams, and aspirations. However, for the vast majority of us, our time here started in kindergarten. Now, I regretfully was not a part of the Jay family during this time, but I’ve been told that paste was edible, and even delicious, and that finger painting used to be an art form for many. And all I can really say to that is, looking at everyone now, we’ve sure grown up a lot.

The days of elementary school have passed. And while memories of accelerated reading fieldtrips to Oops Alley, birthday parties with Barbie cakes, Starbase Atlantis trips in the 5th grade, and our legendary 6th grade camping trip may stay with us forever, we moved past them long ago. Starting on the first day of high school as lowly 7th graders, we began making the transition into the people we are today. It was not something that happened over night, but for the past six years, we have all been growing. In the beginning, we walked with our heads down, fought with our lockers, and obliviously got in the upperclassmen’s way when we walked down the wrong side of the hallway. By the 8th grade, we weren’t much better, but we sure thought we were. Our lockers finally learned who was boss, our classrooms didn’t seem quite so far away, and we knew which side of the hallway to walk down, we just didn’t care.

And then came the 9th grade. We were finally freshmen. From this point on, our world became a world of firsts. We finally got to have that first real boyfriend or girlfriend, stay out as late as we wanted, and get behind the wheel of our first car. We got to go to “real” parties, enjoy the wonders of prom, and create our own homecoming floats. Everything led us to this last year as Jay High School students. It started with making crowns in Tessa’s backyard before school even began. It included one of the strangest class schedules we’ve ever seen, a winning homecoming float, the move to a new school building, and a flurry of senior activities that the majority of us haven’t quite managed to keep up with. But, it is all ending tonight.

Every little thing we’ve done in the past has brought us here, only moments away from finally receiving our diplomas, pulling off these ridiculous caps, and removing these gowns before we all have a heatstroke. And I’m not going to stand up here and say that every day in this school over the past twelve years has been a good one, because that would be a lie. Going to this school hasn’t always been fun. It hasn’t always been easy. There have been days when I’ve wanted to just shut it all out, and I’m sure I’m not the only one. But what I can say is that Jay High School brought us all together. It gave us a chance to make lifelong friends, participate as a group, and grow into ourselves. Our parents brought us here, our teachers taught us here, and we became who we are today here.

And I guess this is the point where I’m supposed to leave you all with some inspirational words of wisdom that you’re going to remember for the rest of your life, even though we all know that it will probably be forgotten by the time you get out the door. But, I’m going to try anyway. If you only take one part of this speech with you for the rest of your life, I want it to be this: Do whatever makes you happy. Find that one thing that you’re good at and passionate about. Don’t let yourself lose sight of your dreams because of someone else and don’t ever let the world make you miserable. Be who you want to be, and make other people rise to meet you. Because we all have our different stories— We all have different pasts, different challenges to overcome, and different futures. The choices we make for ourselves right now are going to follow us forever. They are going to define who we are in the coming years and they are obviously going to change as we do. But, if we all just remember to make ourselves happy and do what we love, we can make other people happy too. We, as a little class of 57, can move forward and change the world for the better. But it’s going to take every single one of us to do it.

And I guess that all I have left to say now is good-bye. After researching speeches and thinking over all the years I’ve spent working with the teachers here and getting to know my fellow classmates, I couldn’t really come up with anything that meant enough to me to say to you. So, I guess all I can really say is thank you.

Thank you Jay High School faculty and staff for being there for me and believing in me, even when I didn’t believe in myself. Thank you Coach Kersey for being awesome. Thank you Mrs. Findley for teaching me the wonders of Microsoft. Thank you Mrs. Williamson for making my senior year a little bit brighter. And thank you Coach Wolfe for teaching me how to drive because we all know I would be dead without you.

And of course, thank all of you— my fellow classmates. Thank you for listening and thank you for being a part of my life thus far. I wouldn’t be who I am today without each and every one of you. So, even if this is the last time I get to see you, keep doing that for me. Keep being exactly who you are, because Dr. Seuss really said it best when he said, “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”

Posted by on Jun 5 2012. Filed under Jay High, Top News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *