Today's featured graduation speech was given by St. Joseph-Ogden senior class President Jolee Paden. The ceremony was May 20, 2012.
If you spoke at your graduation ceremony this year, please email me at meg(at)news-gazette.com with the text of your speech, a photo and information about your plans for next year, and I'll be happy to feature it.
Welcome to the graduation ceremony for the Class of 2012.
It feels like just yesterday we little freshmen, some smaller than others, being told by Mr. Brooks that our time here would fly by and we would soon shift down to the “senior section” of the bleachers. Many giggled and wished away the days until it arrived. But here we are. The time has flown and we found our way to floor.
On behalf of this graduating class, I would like to thank all of you that are joining us today: faculty and staff, family and friends. Thank you for any difference you have made in our lives and the difference that you will continue to make.
Graduation has brought us a time of celebration.
We begin to fear the unknown of the future, but we must take today to celebrate our experiences and memories.
It is this day that will open our minds to the possibilities that lie outside of these walls.
Here, we have been taught and nurtured, but it is out there we must rise.
We must take the encouragement and advice of our teachers, family and friends in order to rise up and be the best we can be.
We must strive to do our best and then being the best will fall into place.
Congratulations not only to the class of 2012, but to the people who have brought us to this point in our lives. And thank you. You are here because you care and it is your care that has challenged us, encouraged us and allowed us to grow into high school graduates of St. Joseph-Ogden High School.
It is not a title that should be taken lightly. We know of all the hard work and emotional hardships that we have overcome in efforts to walk across this stage today.
While we are going our own ways after today, we will all be united by a common thread: we are the class of 2012.
Thank you for joining us and enjoy the rest of the ceremony.
Jolee Paden plans to attend Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Va., this fall. She will pursue a dual-major in social justice and recreation and sport leadership. She will run on the cross country and track teams.
Photo submitted by Jolee Paden.