- Cullman, Alabama

May 31, 2011

Holly Pond High School – Valedictorian Speech

By Stormy Hayes
The Cullman Times

— Congratulations Class of 2011.  We have finally made it through Physics!  Just kidding, Mrs. Whateley.  Your class wasn’t that bad.  However, in all seriousness, we as a class have accomplished a tremendous feat.  We did not travel this thirteen-year long road on our own.  I would like to express heartfelt gratitude to those who played such a vital role in the development of our education, our knowledge- which will assist us in succeeding in our ever changing world, our spirits- which will strengthen us in overcoming whatever obstacles we face, and our character- which will provide us the foundation to endure and learn.  Because of these extraordinary individuals, the Class of 2011 has become an outstanding group of people ready to take on the world ahead of us.  We thank God because He is with us and has been on every uphill, downhill, sideways and stumbling step we have made.  We thank our parents who have stood by our sides through the frustrations, the funny places, the wrong turns, and the speed bumps of this journey we call growing up. Mom- you are the best.  I would not be where I am or going where I am going if you had not believed in me.  Thank you to Ms. Butler and Mr. Miller for keeping us in line and teaching us to do what is right.  Thank you to Mr. Williams for teaching us history, economics and the importance of John Wayne.  Thank you to Mrs. Smith for allowing us to celebrate in class because we finally earned the title “Seniors”.  And thank you to Mrs. Whateley, whose prime objective was to insure that we learned something valuable EVERYDAY and that we were thoroughly prepared to advance on to our next step in life.  I personally thank Mrs. Whateley…We are also grateful to our coaches and other mentors who gave us educational, motivational, and inspirational advice along this journey, and what a journey it has been…

When we were in elementary school, the older kids had all the fun, got to do all the cool stuff, and always seemed to be having the time of their lives.  We could not wait to experience such fun, exciting times and be at the top of the food chain.  Yet, when high school actually began and classes started, some of us began questioning ourselves.  “Is this what we really call fun?”  I know several times I just wanted to be done already. Some of us spent our last semester counting down the hours, minutes, and seconds until we could leave the halls of Holly Pond High School.  But now, as we sit here today and reminisce, we realize how fast time really has flown by and what truly amazing times we have spent together.  We have created bonds that will last for a lifetime, formed spectacular memories that will never leave, and learned lessons that we will carry beyond high school and throughout our lives forever.  In ninth grade, our high school football team made it to the play-offs, and several of the team members were in our class.  We won the State Geometry Math Tournament in tenth grade.  Our Varsity Girls Basketball team made it to the Final Four last year.  And this year has been filled with everything from an old tradition being re-started with our production of a senior class play to Holly Pond’s first high school field day and even to our being the very first senior class to have 16 senior skip days sanctioned as “weather days” and signed off on by the governor!  Now the big finale…our graduation.  

All our lives we have been told that we are the future.  The future has come and now it is our time to make an impact on this world.  We have been in training for thirteen years and we are prepared to make a difference.  Nelson Mandela said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use t change the world.”  I strongly believe Jackson Pruett possesses the traits and wisdom to transform and improve our nation’s political structure.  Floyd, Brooke, and Blake will become masters of the craft of medicine.  Jacob and Statan will use their math and reasoning skills to be the best engineers of their time.  Kelsey, Maeleigha, and Drew will be absolutely wonderful teachers and administrators for the children of tomorrow…and Dan, Dalton, Amanda, and I are going to serve our country with pride and distinction.  These are only a few examples of how the Class of 2011 is going to change the world.  We are, indeed, an exceptionally talented class. Today, we mark a milestone in our educational careers, but the sky is the limit to what we will do in the years to come.