Graduation 2014: Future holds great things

Published 10:00pm Saturday, June 28, 2014

Editor’s Note: Today, The Daily Leader continues publication of area high school valedictorian and salutatorian graduation speeches. The following address is from Loyd Star Valedictorian Haley Smith.  

Good evening family, friends and honored guests. On behalf of the class of 2014, I would like to thank the administration, faculty, friends and family for joining my fellow classmates and I during this special occasion.

I would personally like to thank a few people in my life who have shaped me into the person I am today.

My parents for always giving me love and support in all of my decisions, and always pushing me to do my best in anything I am involved in. My grandparents for their unconditional love, kindness, patience, humor and lessons in life. My teachers for preparing me to take the next step in my life.

Most importantly, I would like to thank God; He has been with us on every uphill, downhill, sideways and stumbling step we have made. He is the reason we have accomplished this great milestone in life. Please bow your heads for a word of prayer.

Graduation. It is a celebration. A time for looking back on lessons learned, adventures shared and memories cherished. I have been friends with almost every student sitting here today for 13 years and formed friendships that I know will last a lifetime.

I am beyond thankful for every chance to meet each and every one of them as well as each one of my teachers. There has always been one teacher that has made a huge impact on my life. From softball to Algebra II to trigonometry to pre-calculus, Coach Jan Delaughter has taught me so many things. However, some of the math stuff, I probably should have known by the time I got to her. Only team trig will understand that statement. Most importantly though, she has taught me lessons in life I will never forget.

Graduation is a farewell. A time for saying goodbye to old friends, to good times you have known, a time for packing away memories and treasures for tomorrow. I never realized how close saying goodbye really was until we all got together for Senior Skip Day. It is hard to believe after tonight we will probably never all be together again at the same time.

Graduation is a beginning. A time for looking forward, a time to set new goals, to dream new dreams and to see what lies ahead. Now we are all going our separate ways, some to college and others to work following God’s plan for us in life. We all have to open our minds, arms and heart to new things and people. We are united in differences. The future holds great things, and I know we will all succeed in life.

There are a few things we should remember from Albert Einstein as we go throughout life. Follow your curiosity. Perseverance is priceless. Focus on the present. The imagination is powerful. Make mistakes. Live in the moment. Create value. Do not expect different results. Knowledge comes from experience. Learn the rues then play better.

Nelson Mandela said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

I know every one of us in the graduating class of 2014 will change the world in some way.

Well guys we finally did it! Congratulations! Thank you.