Graduation speech by Boyd Estes of Fisher Junior-Senior High School

I still have a couple of graduation speeches by high school students left to run on my blog. I would love to feature more, so if you spoke, would you consider submitting it?

You can email the speech, a photo of you in cap and gown, and a brief description of what you're up to next year to meg(at)

Today's speech is by Boyd Estes of Fisher Junior-Senior High School.


Hello….How about that ride in? I guess that’s why they call it sin city, ha-ha. Always good to start off with a little bit of humor.

Well, this is it. We’re finally graduating. All the memories that high school has brought are now just that-memories. No more high school drama. No more getting up at 7 every morning to get to school on time so Mr. Kelly doesn’t give you a detention.

No more hearing Mrs. Cox telling us we need to bring our calculators to class. No more “fast-paced walks” in an attempt to get to the front of the lunch line. It’s the little things like these that have made high school so special.

I would not have rather gone through this high school experience with any other class besides the class of 2012. We have definitely made our mark on this school. We were part of one of the greatest years for Fisher athletics in recent memory. A year that included: A state football playoff qualifier, a volleyball team that won regionals, a soccer team advance to the regional championship and a boys basketball team advance to the Elite Eight for just the second time in school history.

We also excelled academically, having over 15 students invited to the PSAE exam dinner for meeting or exceeding standards. We’ve also started or continued time-honored traditions such as no-shave November or the new V-neck Wednesday. These are traditions I hope to see continued for years to come. We have also made lasting impressions on our teachers, from Ms. Horne almost in tears on our last day in high school to Mr. Dergess belting out a spirited rendition of “Ain’t No Sunshine [They’re] Gone.” This is definitely a class that will always be remembered, if not for our academic or athletic feats, then for our charm.

During the last quarter of high school, I wanted to get out as soon as possible. I wanted to get off to college and start the new chapter of my life just like everyone else feels. I, along with most of the rest of my class, succumbed to senioritis. This is when you just cannot wait to get out of high school.

But something happened the last week of high school. I realized that while I am excited about going to college, I’m not as excited as I thought I would be about graduating high school. You would assume that the two would be one in the same. Not for me.

I realized how much I’m going to miss this town, school, the class of 2012 and everyone else in it. It’s a great place to be. My older brother told me my last day of high school “Congratulations, you just finished the easiest four years of your life.

It is certainly going to be nerve wracking, the day we all step foot on our respective college campuses. Whether it be Parkland or Coastal Carolina, it’s going to be different. I don’t know if I’m personally ready for that. I have lived in this town my entire life. I’ve only moved once, when I was 2, and it was to a house right across the street.

Both my grandparents live here. I love everything about this town. It is who I am and where I come from. Some of my best memories in high school came while playing football.

One memory from football is not so great was from this past season. We were playing Leroy and I started slacking on defense expecting a run every play. Then on one play they threw it over me to an open receiver who ran another 40 yards for a touchdown. We ended up losing the game. The next day in film session, we watched the play on film and it looked about 10 times worse than it did at the game.

I had terrible form and Coach Leng and Coach Dergess let me know about it. I couldn’t handle the fact that I had let my team down so bad when they needed me. So I did something no football player should ever do and/or admit to, I began to cry in the back of the room watching this play over and over again. It was terrible.

We continued to watch the film but I just buried my head in my shirt and thought about that play the entire time. Then when the session was over, everyone left and I was the last one out. It was obvious that I had been crying and coach Dergess stopped me and said, “Hey, what’s wrong with you?”

I told him I was upset for letting the team down. He then told me something that I have tried to remember every day since, “You have to forget about that, Boyd. You’re a much better player than that play. You have a lot more better plays to make.”

That’s actually entered in my computer under the file “Ben Dergess Gems” It’s a file right next to “Lengisms.” That’s the attitude I am taking for the rest of my life.

High school was a great time for most of us. But I personally believe that everyone in this class has “better plays to make." Everyone has something great to offer and we should all strive to let our experiences of high school propel us into fruitful and productive futures.

I would like to take the remaining time to thank my Mom, Dad, Grandpa/Grandma Tabor, Grandma/Grandpa Estes, my two brothers Sam and Tate and the entire class of 2012 for the past four years. Thank you.    

Boyd Estes plans to attend the University of Illinois College of Business next year.

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