Relatives, teacher and peers help prepare for future

By ALEXIS LOVEN, Salutatorian

Guest Columnist

I would like to start off by welcoming everyone to our graduation ceremony. It is an honor to be standing before you tonight.

As you all know, the class of 2012 has been known for having a reputation. A reputation of being loud, obnoxious and disruptive. A reputation of being rowdy and uncooperative. One that only comes with many hours of reprimanding. What I am going to explain to you tonight is not how awful our class used to be, but how enjoyable our class has become.

The success we have achieved is not based solely on our education, but also on our influences. It is due to the love and support of relatives, teachers, the community and our peers. For this, we must say thank you.

Thank you to our parents for remaining by our side. For the numerous car rides to and from school. For attending all school events, no matter if it was a playoff game in sports of just a school spelling bee. For providing help on homework, even if you weren’t sure how to do it and for always supporting our goals and dreams, no matter how crazy they might have seemed. Because of you, we are able to be here tonight.

Then, there are our wonderful teachers, who provided just enough guidance to achieve success. “Thank you for allowing us room to grow, but stepping in to assist when necessary.” Thank you for filling our brains with the knowledge required for the future. This journey was made possible by the staff of our school.

Being from a small town, community has been a huge part of our lives. The community has always been supportive of our school and of our class by attending various events, participating in fundraisers and providing numerous scholarships. This has played a major role in shaping who we are today.

And more importantly, we need to thank each other. Thank you for the lasting bonds and for the unforgettable memories. We entered this school as strangers, grew as classmates and will leave as friends. We joined the class  as strangers, feeling nervous and excited all at the same time. Tonight, we will leave here as friends with the same feeling of nervousness and excitement. Excited to go out on our own and become independent. Excited to meet new people and experience new things. But also nervous to leave the comforts of high school. Losing the safety nets disguised as our parents and teachers, we’ll miss the comfort of walking through those doors every morning and seeing familiar faces. Although this is a common feeling, nobody here tonight should feel nervous. I feel that we have been prepared for whatever the future may bring. All of these influences, our parents, our teachers, the community and our peers have adequately equipped us for success.

Success is defined as the favorable or prosperous termination of attempts or endeavors. Because of this, we are all successful. This ceremony tonight is the favorable end to our great endeavor of high school. But why is graduation relevant to this success? Well, for many reasons. Graduation marks the inevitable transition from the familiarity and comfort of high school to the unfamiliarity of the adult world. Graduation marks the end of our hard work and commitment. The long nights, painful hand cramps and many hours of studying have finally paid off. Very soon, we will move our tassels to the other side and mark a new beginning. The beginning of a new chapter in our lives, and as we enter this chapter, we will not forget about the memories of high school.

Throughout our years of high school, peers have come and gone and our class has endured together. We have stuck by each other through the sadness and the triumphs. Without each other, the last 13 years of our lives would have been far less. For these reasons, our class had a reputation of being kind, caring and compassionate. A reputation of being fun and very energetic. One that only comes with many years of change.

Thank you parents, relatives, friends and community for sharing this event with us. Congratulations class of 2012. We did it.


Alexis Loven gave one of the commencement addresses at the Swanville High School graduation.