Thursday, June 11, 2009

Sean's Eigth-Grade Valedictorian Speech

Last night, after a year of hard work and keeping a perfect 4.0 Grade Point Average (G.P.A.), Sean became the valedictorian of his eight-grade class at the Marysville Charter Academy for the Arts (MCAA).

During the graduation ceremony he played a very nice piece on the cello (Humoresque, by Dvorak) accompanied by his strings teacher and then he went on to address the crowd in his valedictorian speech.

Here is the full text of Sean's speech:

Hello and welcome families, faculty, and friends. I would like to thank you all for coming here today. My name is Sean Lubbers. I’m afraid I couldn’t find anything to copy from Wikipedia, so I’m just going to give you an original speech.

I would like to start out with my favorite quote from President John F. Kennedy (Watch it on YouTube).

We choose to go to the moon in this decade, not because it is easy, but because it is hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win.

This quote relates to the choices we make in our everyday life. Whether it’s fulfilling a life-long dream, acing an Algebra test, or simply finishing a level in a video game. We should strive to take the harder path—the challenge—in whatever we do. Whether we succeed or not, ultimately does not matter. What is important, however, is that we try our very best.

Looking back over my last two years at MCAA, fills me with many good memories. We had some great performances, dances, and fun parties. I have great friends, teachers, school staff, and an amazing class.

I remember arriving at school on the first day in 7th grade. It took me about ten minutes to find the infamous “room 11.” The first thing I thought after looking at the class was “Wow.” It looked like a tornado had just touched down in 1st block History. There was such a diverse population—from the Goths, to the Nerds, to the Preps—that I could not imagine how I would fit in. Well, we are here now and I am friends with, or at least know, everyone in my class.

This year, I had to make a tough decision: leave MCAA and go to Nevada Union (NU), or continue with high school here at MCAA. Some of my older friends are already attending NU and some of my 8th grade friends will be heading to Nevada County next year for their continued education. I wanted to wait to make this decision at the very end, but my dad, being his usual self, gave me an ultimatum: I had only until the end of February to make up my mind. [Thanks, Dad!]

In the end I was leaning towards NU. What happened next was very interesting. I asked Brenda for my transfer papers and will never forget the reactions I received from all the people in the office as well as from my friends that were with me at the time. At that point, I realized how much the school really meant to me and I decided to stay—at least for another year.

When John F. Kennedy spoke about going to the Moon, he had an aim. He did not know whether he would succeed or not, but he started with a lot of determination. A few years later, astronauts landed on the Moon and since then, many more great things have been accomplished.

I think we should continue to strive for great things to happen and we should set bold goals and give it our best shot. My dreams are for wars to be over, to end global warming, and to find a cure for diseases such as aids and cancer.

Once you have a breakthrough or when you accomplish a great goal, it is easy just to kick back, relax, and say “Well, I think that’s enough. We don’t need to go any further.” Is that the right attitude? No! We have to keep discovering, keep learning, and, most of all, keep asking the hard questions. We have to take a step further and move forward from where we were standing before.

What we could hardly imagine just ten years ago in science and technology is reality today. We don’t know what the future will hold, but we do know what attitude we have to bring to it.

8th grade graduation is a big step for all of us. We have finished a great part of our schooling, but this is really only the beginning. We will now be moving on to high school and we look forward to it eagerly—willing to accept all the challenges that await us.

Before I go, I would like to thank my family for their support, all my teachers for opening the doors to my education, Mr. Pimentel, Mr. Skeffington, Bonnie, and Brenda for always being there and doing such a great job.

Thank you for your time.

And of course I have to mention that Rocky did a great job in his sixth-grade year, too. He was the only one to graduate to 7th grade with three straight trimesters 4.0 GPA (Principal's List) and he will be attending Sean's school next year.

Well, we are really proud of Sean and Rocky's academic achievements. The kids are, of course, excited that Summer vacation is finally here and to start it off right, we're all going to run the Tahoe Relay this weekend with their friend Hayes and Chris and Turi!


Dave - Atlanta Trails said...

Your son's speech reflects maturity beyond his years. really enjoyed reading

Gretchen said...

Wow, great job Sean! That is awesome!

Will said...

Quite a moving presentation, and for an 8th grader all the more. Enjoy his will leave you.

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