By LACEE PRIMUS,Valedictorian
We’ve dreamed of this day for what seems like forever, and now it’s finally here. The years have passed slowly, but these past few months have flown by so quickly that it’s almost impossible to believe that we are really — finally — graduating.
Before I get too carried away, I would first like to thank all of the parents, families and friends of my fellow graduates. Without your support, none of us would have overcome the trials and tribulations we have faced, or pushed ourselves as much as we have to get where we are today. I would also like to thank the teachers and staff of Swanville Public School for preparing us throughout the years for this day. You have each given us a piece of something to take into the next stage of our lives, like “Don’t do stupid. Stupid takes longer.” Thanks Mrs. Detloff.
Most of us came to kindergarten in Swanville on that first day not really knowing what to expect. All we knew was that everybody was our best friend, school would be fun and nap time was the worst part of the day. Fast-forward 12 years, and now look at us — we’re finally graduating. As exciting and exhilarating as this day is, it’s easy to forget what it really means. This milestone in a student’s life means a lot of decision making. Where am I going to go to college? Am I even going to go to college? Should I consider the military? What do I want to do with the rest of my life? Who am I? These questions can only be answered by ourselves, which is why the final months leading up to this momentous day have been crucial ones.
Going to school isn’t just about learning things that you’ll never use again in the real world or about making friends — it’s about becoming prepared for whatever inevitable events that life had predetermined for us. Our time here at Swanville has been an important foundation. While learning which math functions to use, how to write the perfect essay and why countries fight wars, we’ve also been learning what it takes to succeed when we’re finally on our own. From our successes and our failures, we now have the skills to learn, the aptitude to thrive, the talents and creativity to make a difference and the motivation to assist and meet the needs of the problems that face our society, as well as ourselves. And that is knowledge I wouldn’t trade for anything.
Now it’s time to put our new skills to the ultimate test — Life. Whatever the next stage of life may hold for you, my fellow graduates, may it be college, military or work, I am confident in your abilities to succeed. Although our time here has been challenging at times, I know that we are as ready as we’ll ever be. So I say, good luck to you in whatever path you choose, for it is strictly your own. And always remember the abilities and talents you have developed here at Swanville; for although you can go far without them, you will go even further with them.
Lacee Primus gave one of the commencement addresses at the Swanville High School graduation.