speech as class Valedictorian.
morning graduates, administrators, faculty, family, and
Our day has finally come to celebrate
graduation of the class of 2007 of St. Vincent
I feel both privileged and proud to be standing here this
representing St. Vincent Pallotti's class of
I am grateful all of you could be here to commemorate
the accomplishments achieved
and memories created by this
and talented group of
Today, as we celebrate, look to the future
and recognize that,
just as we have succeeded in making it
boundless opportunities lay ahead for us
to once again achieve our goals.
are not only capable of reaching individual success,
are obligated to use this solid foundation
Pallotti has given
us to inflict positive change
in our communities and in the
world around us.
But before we throw off our caps and go take on the world,
believe it is more than necessary to recognize
that none of
us would be here today without
the persistence and support of
our families and teachers.
To our parents, you
have been the backbone of our growth and development.
Through your support of us in both our brightest and darkest moments,
you have provided us with the courage
and love we
needed to be successful.
Although we often fail to
we know that our education at Pallotti wasn't cheap,
and that you have made numerous sacrifices to send us
We love you and sincerely appreciate
opportunities you have given us by doing so.
To our teachers, who have been not only our educators but our
coaches, and companions for the last four
you have provided us with the knowledge and
we will need to be successful in the next stage of our
In the Pallotti community, the student's
has always been the faculty's main
and this is reflected by the teacher's willingness
to do whatever it takes
to ensure that we reached our full
The teacher's compassion for what they do and their
determination to help the students is truly inspiring and
From Mr. Rheam, who taught us to never
doubt our own abilities
by believing in us more often then we
believed in ourselves,
to Ms. Bock, who through her
spectacular dancing skills
in class demonstrated to us the
more enjoyable side of learning,
to Mr. David Tenney, who
opened our eyes and mind to a completely
new way of thinking
and living, many of my teachers have had far-reaching
influences on me that go beyond the material we covered in
I know my fellow classmates will agree when
I say I feel incredibly
lucky to have been blessed with
teachers and administrators
that were just as concerned with
the development of my character
as they were with my
And, although I’ll never quite understand why our
socks had to cover our ankles
and our shirts had to be tucked
in, not rolled, under our sweaters,
the lessons you taught us
and the work ethic
you instilled in us will not soon be
So, thank you teachers, administrators, and
faculty of Pallotti
for working relentlessly to prepare us
for our futures,
you have done a truly remarkable job.
Although we can attribute a large part of our success to our parents
there is no denying that our class has
some amazing feats since we walked through
Pallotti's doors four years ago.
leadership and example we have not only set the bar,
raised it for the underclassmen.
Whether it be in athletics,
academics, the arts,
or our undeniable school spirit, the
class of 2007
has without a doubt left its mark on Pallotti
Our class may be small in number compared to other high
but we are abundant in talent and our size has never
stopped us from excelling in the area of athletics.
In the last four years, we have won conference,
and even national titles in football, girls
softball, baseball, boys lacrosse, cheerleading,
We have won twelve championships in four
all of which our class has played a huge role in.
In addition, we are sending numerous athletes
play for division 1, 2, and 3 schools.
but definitely not least, our girl's soccer team
first in regular season play of the A conference
ranked in the top 20 in the nation for our
in 2006, a gigantic improvement from our humble
a struggling B conference team.
Huge honors were also given to Pallotti's art program
the outstanding ability of some of our seniors.
receiving singing scholarships to making the Maryland All State
our class has demonstrated tremendous talent in the
on both a group and individual level.
Just last month, our concert band won first place
in the Music Showcase festival.
And while they were
impressing audiences at the showcase in Virginia,
drama and chorus program were awing audiences at home
Smokey Joe's Cafe, one of the best play performances
has seen in some time.
Academically, our class has
achieved outstanding feats.
As you may have previously heard,
an impressive amount of scholarship money.
In addition, we have been accepted into numerous prestigious
including Johns Hopkins University, University
of Maryland and their Honors Program,
NYU, Fordham, and UNC
Whether it was scoring the thousandth
point on the basketball court,
winning a local singing
or receiving a first chair spot in a top local
our seniors have demonstrated their strong work
and exceptional talent both within the Pallotti
community and abroad.
And last, but not least, the
seniors have repeatedly
demonstrated the true meaning of
As if our dedication to school, sports, and
extra curricular activities wasn't enough,
we took the Spirit
Trophy this year and crushed our competition
in the powder
puff football game.
Our class has a
special way of always coming together when it counts.
there is a big game, we have all gone out
to support each
other, even if it meant driving long distances
ourselves in blue and white face paint.
always been able to overcome our differences and pull
to make experiences like our class trip to Busch
and our senior retreat truly memorable
Our retreats in general, from Circle of
to sophomore service days, to kairos to our senior
were valuable learning experiences, but their success
depended on our class's willingness
to release our inhibitions
and open up to God and our classmates.
encouragement of one another and ability to work together,
were able to learn and grow as a class during our retreats,
bringing us more in touch with our faith and closer to each
And finally, our class unity was most recently
when we all met in the parking lot of Bottom
dressed down, to show up at school together and send
a final reminder
to the Pallotti staff and fellow students
it will be hard to forget the class of 2007.
So now that we
have proven that we are capable of achieving greatness,
challenge becomes continuing this success
outside the walls
of Pallotti high school.
Success is defined as
The achievement of something desired,
attempted, but to me, success means a whole lot more than
Success is working hard to achieve your
and in turn, being truly happy with what you do.
Everyone's dreams are vastly different; some of us
may chose to study medicine,
some may chose to teach, or some
may do missionary work.
Despite these apparent
differences, all of these dreams require hard work,
persistence, and lot of sacrifice to obtain,
when achieved, all of these radiate success.
Rheam once told us that he has never worked a day in his
He loves teaching so much that he does not even
consider it work.
This is the kind of success that all of us
should dream of obtaining.
Success that has nothing to do
with money, status, possessions, or power,
but only that
which involves the fulfillment resulting from doing what you love.
So, graduates, whatever your dream is, stop at nothing to make it come
Don't let people make you feel dumb for wanting
and don't let obstacles deter you from getting
Beverly Sills once said, There are no short
cuts to any place worth going,
and this holds true for
reaching your dream.
Don't let the fear of
mistakes, hard times, and pain
stop you from going after what
because it will be the challenging times throughout
that make the end result that much sweeter.
Not only do we have the foundation to achieve individual
but we have an obligation to do our part to bring
positive change to the world around us.
to get discouraged about the current state of our world.
With the war in Iraq, widespread poverty and
and murder on our own college campuses,
it's hard to imagine that we, as individuals,
make a difference in such a complicated world.
is the type of mentality that both
Pallotti and our Christian
faith have urged us not to slip into.
Gandhi once said,
Be the change you want to see in the world,
this is probably the biggest challenge
that faces my fellow
classmates and I,
it is one that we are more than capable of
Be the leaders of your new
Hold your ground when it comes to ethical
stand up against the injustices you see around you
and go out of your way to help those who are unable to help
This type of behavior is contagious, and these
can only lead to positive change around
I was told my speech was supposed to be about
the future, and its purpose
was to motivate you, my fellow
classmates, for what lies ahead.
I hope I have done a good
job so far,
but I found this slightly ironic given that I am
in the same position as you.
Although it is
exciting to finally get out of high school,
at the same time.
Our futures are
uncertain, and now, more than ever before,
we are responsible
for what direction our lives will take
and what type of
people we will become.
This responsibility can be
overwhelming, considering we have no idea
what will be asked
of us and what challenges we will face.
Whether you are
living at home next year or moving away
from your family and
friends for the first time,
we are all venturing into
and these unknowns can be really
However, it's OK to be nervous about these
as long as you mold your fear into a source of
and you don't allow it to hold you
It was once said "The biggest mistake you can
continually fearing you will make one".
will all, at some point, make mistakes,
but it is in those
moments where we will
learn some of our most valuable
So don't be afraid to take risks, take
every advantage given to try new things,
and don't hesitate
to venture outside of your comfort zone.
Because although we
are all uncertain about what our futures hold,
I am more than
certain that all of us
are fully prepared to face any
challenge that comes our way.
Good luck and God's Speed to the class of 2007.
It's been said that life is like a book,
chapter at a time.
If you think that your most fruitful years are behind
Remember you're writing a new chapter now.
to live each day in the present.
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