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2011 class experienced best, worst of times

Today, The DAILY LEADER continues its publication ofvaledictorian and salutatorian speeches from the Class of 2011.Today’s address is from Julianna Montgomery, Brookhaven Academysalutatorian.

“It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.”

No, Charles Dickens wasn’t describing high school, but I thinkthis is appropriate.

We’ve been through the worst of times. We’ve seen heartbreakinggames, failed tests, car accidents, losses of loved ones, and thosestupid little arguments. But we’ve also seen state championships,good grades, new friendships, parties, field trips, juniorproduction, I believe our school’s first ever on campus rave athomecoming, and now finally our graduation. You all know as well asI do though that we couldn’t have made it alone.

First of all, thank you to all of our families, specifically ourparents. You’ve seen us not only at our best but also at ourabsolute worst. The amazing thing is you still love us. Thank youfor your persistence in making us study and enforcing rules becauseyou really do know what’s best. We may not have shown it at thetime, but looking back, I’m sure I speak for all of my classmateshere, it meant a lot to have someone who always cared enough to geton our cases when we needed it. And honestly, that was a lot. Thankyou.

I’d also like to say thank you to every teacher that had one ofus in a class. Not only did you put up with all our …. let’ssay…. little quirks (a class sing-along to SpongeBob Square Pantson a bus …. Need I say more), you taught us something. We learnedmore than that Shakespeare wrote histories, tragedies, andcomedies, that the sine of 45 is Square root of 2/2, and Newton’ssecond law is force=mass times acceleration; we learned topersevere though things we may not understand at first and thatthere usually is a reason we’re learning all of this. You alsotaught us by your examples how to be caring adults. You were alwaysthere when we needed help or advice. Thank you.

But most importantly, we couldn’t have made it without oneanother. Whenever someone needed something, a classmate, or thewhole class, was there to help out. From the major things, like caraccidents, to the smallest thing, like needing a black pen in Mrs.Culbertson’s class for a test, there was always someone there. Webecame a family somewhere along the way. Whether that was throughall the little arguments about absolutely nothing or the successeswhen we actually pulled something off together, I don’t know, butwe are a family now. And, though families may not always get along,they always love each other. I know that if something were tohappen to me that I would have about 40 people there by my side;I’m sure you all feel the same. So thank you all for the best oftimes and for being there through the worst of times.

Julianna Montgomery is the daughter of Andy and NancyeMontgomery.