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Talent, determination highlight 2011 class

Today, The DAILY LEADER continues its publication ofvaledictorian and salutatorian speeches from the Class of 2011.Today’s address is from Sarah Ayers, Brookhaven High Schoolvaledictorian.

When I was informed that I had to write a speech reflecting backon my class, at first I was unsure of how I was going to fit all ofour outstanding qualities into one speech, but once I startedwriting, this proved to be easier than expected.

When I think of the graduating class of 2011, there are twoadjectives that best define my fellow peers: talented anddetermined.

We are an extremely talented class in many ways. We excel ineverything that we do. Numerous athletic scholarships have beenawarded to students in our class for baseball, basketball,football, soccer and cheer. Band scholarships have also beenawarded.

Not only did our class capitalize in sports, we capitalized inacademics as well. We had four people to score over a 30 on theACT, one of which was a 35. Our class has always been verycompetitive academically. Averages had to be viewed down to thedecimal for class rank, and students were always trying to adjusttheir schedules so they could fit in more AP classes. We even hadone student qualify as a National Merit finalist.

Eighteenth American editor George Lorimer once stated, “You’vegot to get up every morning with determination if you’re going togo to bed with satisfaction.”

I believe this quote perfectly represents our class. From dayone, when we all arrived at the high school wearing bright orangeT-shirts that had the word freshmen written as big as it possiblycould be across the chest, we were determined to stand out.

Since then, we have proved that through our determination we canaccomplish anything.

In the beginning of our senior year, we were determined to makeour last year at the high school unforgettable. By trying toaccomplish this goal, I am sure we have tested Dr. Jay’s patiencequite a bit. We have done everything from having our own homecomingparade and putting rubber ducks in the fountain to dressing crazyand making signs for the football games to show our support. I amtold that Dr. Jay still proudly displays the rubber ducks in hisoffice. We were even able to fill the school hallways with balloonsand floaties, which I believe Dr. Karmacharya was more excitedabout than we were.

Our time at Brookhaven High is coming to an end, but I know wehave certainly left our mark. We have made it through all the statetests, pop quizzes, final exams and lectures through which CoachWalker proudly dictates government notes. We will no longer have toworry about making it to class in time whenever you have to go allthe way to the math building from the second floor of the mainbuilding. And I know no matter how hard we try, we will never beable to forget our lunch numbers.

We are now about to embark on a journey into the world not onlyseeking our independence but discovering what the world has instore for us. God has given each one of us unique gifts. So, Ichallenge every one of us to always recognize and nurture yourgifts while working to compensate and overcome your weak points.This, along with enjoying what you do, is the key to success.

Finally, I would like to thank Dr. Jay Smith, Dr. Karmacharyaand all of the faculty and staff of Brookhaven High School formaking our years at Brookhaven High School some of the mostmemorable years of our lives. I would especially like to thank Mrs.Pam Brewer and Ms. Phyllis Wallace for inspiring me and teaching methat even when the cards are stacked against me, if I have the willpower and determination, I can overcome anything.

I also think it is very important not only thank my family butto thank all of the families of each graduating student here today.This day would not have been possible without the love and supportof these families. Last but not least, I want to congratulateBrookhaven High School’s graduating class of 2011 for all of theirhard work and perseverance that has led us to where we are today.Now it is time to graduate and go out and show the world what weare made of.

Sarah Ayers is the daughter of Butch and Pam Ayers.