On the Beat in Bluffton

Monday, June 6, 2011

Graduation Speech: Bluffton Valedictorian Jordan Leising

So, we’re here. The day we have been counting down to. For a year, we have been anticipating this day — where we walk across this stage in our last act as high school students and we head into the next phase of our lives. Throughout high school we have learned a plethora of lessons. Not only lessons of 1+1=2 or, “Ain’t ain’t appropriate,” but life lessons not taught in books.

  • We have learned how to jump in our jeeps and climb to the top of history mountain and all the answers are in the “book.”
  • We have learned that together we accomplish more, especially when collaborating in the early morning to finish that last problem or few of a packet due during first period.
  • We learned the hard way that Mr. Baker and Mrs. Morrison’s math skill are not as bad as we always thought and seniors can actually lose Fall Festival.
  • We know that nothing is more painful than losing a friend or family member — and in our times of sorrow we come together for support.
  • We have learned that there is nothing sweeter than a return trip on the bus ride home after a big win.
  • We know (but maybe others don’t) that there should be a permanent ban on all homework, tests and quizzes during Street Fair Week. You know ... this is Bluffton.
  • We know we are taking three of the most iconic teachers (Mr. Brown, Mr. Gilbert, and Mr. Kracium) out with us along with Mrs. Anderson. Bluffton High School will never be the same.
  • We have learned that with enough tries, confidence and support, our big sectional victory was ever so sweet.
  • We (I) know that nothing is quite as shocking as walking out of class to half of the school and a video camera to see a “decorated” senior hallway of pictures.
  • We have seen the impact that the bombings of 9/11 have had on our country, and just how proud we are of all the men and women that protect us today and always.
  • We have learned just how many ways it is possible to decorate our bodies in black, red, blue or the despised green during fall festival.
  • We realize that the anxiety that came with change during our high school years was actually good for us.
  • And now, we know that there is nothing as bitter-sweet as saying goodbye and graduating tonight.
We have learned a lot in four years, but there is much more to come. For me, during my high school career I learned to embrace what “I couldn’t do” and turn it into a challenge. You see, on my way home from our middle school graduation, my dad told me that I was too unorganized to be named valedictorian. I know that my dad will take the credit, but as I stand here on stage, I know that I am the determined person. When we accept our challenges, no matter how big, we can achieve greatness.

The Class of 2011, as we take the step into the “real world,” do it with confidence and knowing that what we learned from our years here will provide us with what we need. Good Luck.

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