CullmanTimes.com - Cullman, Alabama

May 31, 2011

Holly Pond High School - Salutatorian Speech

By Brooke Hudson
The Cullman Times

— Good evening administrators, teachers, families, friends, and fellow classmates.  Welcome to the moment many of us have anxiously waited for…the 2011 graduation of Holly Pond High School.  It has been a long and well-earned journey that I have proudly shared with each of you.

Over the past four years we have grown together as a class and have enjoyed every second.  Each laughter-filled moment and friendship made has taught us what we need to move on, and has strengthened us as individuals.  We have witnessed great accomplishments- for example, our Lady Broncos’ Final Four appearance, and on my end of the spectrum, geometry state champions.  Although the procrastination of many English papers, study guides, and math problems has not been one of our wisest decisions, I believe the chances for success are in our favor.  Hopefully our teachers will not harbor bad feelings due to our failed attempts to distract them from their job or the endless groveling for a free day.

Aside from all the jokes and pranks, our wonderful teachers and principals helped us reach this milestone.  They spent hours upon hours trying to make us understand what they were saying, and used pages upon pages to imprint the knowledge onto our brains.  No matter how much we grumbled and complained, they pressed on, knowing that one day their effort would pay off.  I am sure they never gave up hope that we would make it to the next level.  Maybe they even sent out a few prayers to get us to this day.  Thank you teachers for all that you do, and thank you Ms. Butler for keeping us in line when we got distracted.

The other well-deserving spotlight goes to the parents and families.  I know that for me, my parents were my rock.  Sometimes when I did not believe in myself, they kept me going.  Each day our parents expected us to behave, be sweet, and try our hardest.  The truth is that our parents know us better than we know ourselves.  Every step we took, they were watching at a distance, ready to catch us when we stumbled along the way.  Without them, I would not be here, and I would not have had the drive to work hard at the tasks placed before me.  They have given me a wonderful Christian home and raised me to make the right decisions in life.  Therefore, thank you to all families for all that you have done, even if it was just lending an ear during a time of need.

As graduates, we have reached the point where we must confront the unavoidable word…future.  It is the uncertain path that we have been building up to for a very long while.  It is our hopes and dreams we wish to conquer; the goals we wish to accomplish.  This past year, each of us have been begging for the end to come, and we have counted down the days thinking we were more than ready to take that new step.  Now that I am here, I am not so sure that I would not go back and do it all again.  However, I do believe we have the ability to step forward, and I believe that what we lack, the Lord will give us.  Jeremiah 29:11 tells us this:

    

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord,

Thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you a hope and a future.”

Now I am sure you are expecting something wittier than a few thank you's and a comforting word for the future, but the only thing I could really think up was the lessons of my childhood.  I am not sure if you all remember our dear friend Winnie the Pooh; nevertheless, he is the one who taught me how to handle a few situations in life.  The one lesson that I find most fitting to this moment is “Keep Your Promises”.  There is a sweet moment between Christopher Robin and his silly old bear that has stayed with me for a long time.  It begins with Christopher Robin saying,

“Pooh, promise you won’t forget about me, ever.  Not even when I’m a hundred.”

Pooh thought for a little and said, “How old shall I be then?”

“Ninety-nine.”

Pooh nodded and said, “I promise.”

So my promise to my classmates is this:  I promise to never forget the years I spent with you all walking the halls of Holly Pond High, not even when I’m a hundred.  I hope it has been just as enjoyable for you as it has been to me.  Thank you class of 2011 for making the past four years an unforgettable experience I will cherish in my heart for a lifetime.  I pray that you accomplish all of your hopes and dreams.  The ride has been great, but it is time for a new chapter in our storybook.