Arlington Class of '08 ready to take next step

Hello family and friends, faculty and community members of Darrington's class of 2008. Today you are here to celebrate a great achievement of the 50 seniors of the class of 2008 here today. Over the past 13 years, you have been allowed or privileged, if I may say so, to watch each and everyone of us grow up and grow into the adults we have become.

It has seemed like a long time for us, but as all of you may know it is just the beginning of our lives and our journeys to wherever we may wander. I would like to thank you all for being here for us, being at our games, talent shows, award ceremonies, drama productions and everything else we have taken part in. It has meant a lot to all of us.

As my grandmother said at our Baccalaureate address last weekend, "You have a great future ahead of you, choices to make, goals to pursue. It can be a bit daunting, but when you walk to the edge of all the light you have and take that step into the darkness of the unknown, you must believe one of two things will happen. There will be something solid for you to stand on, or … you will learn how to fly."

I feel that too often we decide not to take that next step because we don't know if that next step we take will be solid for us. But today we are making an enormous step into the dark, we are all taking the step between high school life and life on our own. I am hoping that we all will make the best of it, welcome it with open arms and have the will to overcome whatever life throws at us.

One definition of accomplishment is said to be "something done admirably or creditably; fulfillment." The class of 2008 has had their share in accomplishments: starting school, Eighth grade graduation, getting into college or acquiring a job after graduation. Today we are receiving recognition for our greatest accomplishment so far, the accomplishment of graduating from high school. Even though this may be a great accomplishment we have many more in front of us, ones that may make what we are doing today seem like it was small in comparison. Some of us will receive college degrees, open businesses of our own, start families or even become novelists or film directors.

After today we will embark on the next step, making our short- and long-term goals a reality. Many of us have already begun this, some of us are about to begin and there are others among us who aren't ready to begin just yet. It is finally time to make a big change in our lives, to break away from everything that we are accustomed to and create our new lives. We shouldn't forget our lives from Darrington but instead embrace it and be proud that all of our life experiences have made us who we are now. With all of the morals and characteristics the community of Darrington has embedded into us, it is time to show the rest of the world who we are and just because we came from a small community, that doesn't mean that we can not achieve great things.

I know that I have not been a part of this class as long as some, but I would like to say it was an honor being a part of it. I have enjoyed getting to know all of you. We have had our good moments, our bad moments, our sad moments and our happy moments together. We have grown closer as the years went by. We have seen many teachers disappear from our lives, even though they still remain in our minds and hearts. We will always remember our English teacher, Mr. Robert Wales Jr., that man always believed in everyone of us and that we could achieve anything we put our minds to. I hope that we all go through life believing that to be true.

You individuals sitting right there are truly amazing and will go on to achieve great things. Some people may say that some of the achievements we go on to accomplish are better than someone else's achievements, but who can truly say that an achievement of one individual is greater than one of another's.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said " Intelligence plus character, that is the goal of true education." If that is true, then I feel that this school is doing a great job of teaching its students because the class of 2008 has a great amount of intelligent individuals and everyone of them possess great personalities.

Graduates, it was an honor growing up beside everyone of you and I hope that the friendships we have created over the years don't fall apart but instead keep growing stronger. "Carpe Diem," "Seize the day." I hope we go on to make everyone here proud and to seize everyday ahead of us.

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