Let me begin by welcoming all of you to today’s event and thanking Mrs. Williams for that kind introduction. This brings me back to the day I walked across this very stage with a broken arm to shake Mrs. Rawlins hand and accept my certificate not so long ago.
I’m very pleased to have been invited to speak here today on what I know is a very special day. It’s special for you, for your parents and grandparents, and for your very proud teachers.
They have high hopes for you, and they believe in you, and you are making them proud by showing what you can do. Take a look at them now, and you can see them smiling and snapping photos so they can record this moment forever.
Today is an important day for you and for them. Today they are very, very proud of you. Today would also be a good day to ask for money. With every year, you have become a little more independent. But when you see younger students walking the halls of Wiley, you can tell how much you've grown up, how much you've learned and how much you've matured. Think back on some of the exciting things that happened this year, all the things you learned.
This year, you... were taught to write with purpose and a creative spirit by the best writing teacher I’ve ever had, Mrs. Price. Thank you for squashing my writers block and helping me organize my thoughts on paper.
This year, you all learned to make sense of fractions and prove your mathematical thinking as guided by the legendary Mrs. Stockert. Thank you for fueling my love for math. My AP Calculus teacher thanks you, too.
This year, you gained a greater appreciation for nature and the world you live in. Thank you, Ms. Ross, well, MOM, for sending me to the principal’s office the time I refused to write in your writing elective. You’ve taught me to never give up when things are hard and find a career that I love as much as you love yours.
This year y’all went to Williamsburg and no one got lost, brought home 2 Science Olympiad trophies in April, AND got lectured by my mom about wearing deodorant and cleaning your face every day... welcome to my world.
I ask you, as you prepare for this next step, to do a few things:
First, don’t become a texting zombie and forget to talk to the people that love you. Unplug when your mom asks you to.
Secondly, remember that you don’t have to follow the crowd. Do the right thing, even if nobody's looking.
And finally, don't be in too big of a hurry to grow up. These are some great times in your life. Don't rush past them.
There are great things coming, and just as your parents are proud, each one of you should feel proud of yourself.
So congratulations to all of the graduates, congratulations to the parents, and finally, congrats to the teachers and everyone else who helped these kids reach this milestone today.
I'll leave you with this final quote, from the inspiring little dude my mom raves about all the time, Kid President.
“Life is like a really good sandwich.. it’s all how you make it. Fill it with the good stuff.”
Congratulations again, and thank you for this opportunity to speak with y’all today.
Peyton Leverette Broughton High School Class of 2015
to congratulate these young men and women.
I was extremely excited when I was asked to give a small speech at this year's Wiley graduation. I attended this institution for six years of my childhood, so Wiley is very dear to my heart.
I graduated in 2008. Believe it or not I have grown taller since then. I made great memories here. I remember on my first day of kindergarten I was excited to finally go to school and make new friends. It's funny, I assumed that my mother would stay by my side the whole day. Sadly I started crying when my mother told me she had to go to work. I remember writing my own book and making a kindergarten t shirt. Every year I looked forward to Field Day, International Night, Science Night, and especially riding
those awesome seat scooters in the gym.
I learned a lot from my time at Wiley. I learned about respect, perseverance, kindness, judgment, and social skills. I learned about great character traits that in no way I would have learned about elsewhere. I remember that I used to brag about how Ms,Stockert even taught my mother forty years ago. For the record, she is still my favorite math teacher.
But, today we're here to celebrate you guys: your achievements, your future, and your creativity. You are all about to embark on a new journey where you get to call the shots and your parents won't be there to hold your hand, only to support you.
You'll go through changes and learn about yourself. You'll win competitions, join sports teams, join service clubs, and feel immersed in the school community.
Let the experiences engulf you. Do everything that you can. Be a part of everything that you find appealing. Step out of your comfort zone because you may find that you enjoy something different. Time will fly so cherish these moments where you get to be young and stress free. Pretty soon you'll be in my position graduating from high school and getting ready for college. Always remember the memories you made and the lessons you learned at your home, Wiley Elementary. Lastly your parents are clearly proud, happy, and emotional. If you wanted something, today would be a good day to ask for it. Congratulations to the Wiley Elementary class of 2015.
Raleigh Charter High School Class of 2015
Good morning, Wiley Graduates, families, and friends! My name is Sallie Allen and let me tell you, I couldn’t be more excited about this opportunity I have to speak this morning! I am a proud Wiley graduate, class of 2008! Wow...that makes me feel old. It feels like just yesterday that I was in your exact position.
The reason I’m particularly excited to be here today is because you and I have many things in common. In just three short days, I’m going to walk across the stage, just like you are doing this morning and graduate from Broughton High School. I am SO EXCITED! Can you relate? We’re on to the next chapter of our lives. New people, new places, new experiences...and it is all very exciting.
But if I’m honest, I’m also a little bit nervous, as you might be, about going to middle school. I’m nervous about leaving my school, a place that I love dearly. I’m nervous about the new challenges of college because it’s going to be a liiiittle bit harder than high school. I’m nervous about meeting all new people and being in a completely new environment. Can you relate? Whether you’re headed to middle school from elementary school, or headed to college from high school, we share some very similar emotions.
Here’s the good news! Not only do you and I share a lot of the same feelings at this point in our lives, but we also share something else really awesome. That is- we both graduated from the most incredible, unique, valuable, special elementary school ever... WILEY!
Although this may seem to you like a minor and obvious similarity between us, I want to tell you today how graduating from Wiley has shaped me as a young adult, and likewise, how Wiley will shape you as well.
Wiley taught me a lot, but today I want to highlight three things in particular. The first is Wiley taught me to appreciate, and even celebrate differences. During my time here at Wiley, I made many friends who very different from me. Some had grown up in other parts of the world and many spoke a different language than mine. The teachers at Wiley magically brought us together, and we learned how to look past our differences, and celebrate the fact that we were kids learning and growing together. So, I encourage you all to continue learning about people different from you. Wiley taught us both to love others regardless of skin color, origin, language, and ethnicity. I encourage you to celebrate diversity as you move forward to middle school!
The second thing I want to emphasize, is how through celebrating diversity, Wiley gave me the confidence to be true to myself. Here, I learned that each person is unique and can offer something special to those around him. Some of you might be really good at math, and you’ve learned that there is great value in helping your classmates around you. Others of you might be good at art, and your artwork brightens the hallways around the school. Still others of you are good listeners. You
are the go-to when your friends have a problem. All of us in this room...students, teachers, moms and dads, have a unique skill set, and I encourage you to offer it to those around you. When you get to middle school do not be afraid to be yourself. People love you for you, and “you are the best you there ever was.”
The last thing I want to offer is maybe the most important, and something that has been evident to me throughout my four years of high school. And that is...the power of one. Next year in 6th grade, you will be surrounded by a lot of other people, many of whom you do not know right now. At times, you may feel afraid or intimidated to speak up for what you believe in. Whether inside the classroom or out, I want to empower you with the knowledge that your one voice does make a difference, and it’s up to you whether it’s going to be positive or negative. You have the ability to brighten the room when you walk into it. You have the ability to befriend someone who is lonely. You have the ability to stand up for someone who is being bullied. I encourage you to be the individual who makes a difference. Every single one of you has that power within you!
In closing, I’d like to share some lines from one of my favorite poems, by an unkown author, entitled “The Power of One.”
One smile begins a friendship
One handclasp lifts a soul
One start can guide a ship at sea One word can frame the goal
One vote can change a nation One sunbeam lights a room One candle wipes out darkness One laugh will conquer gloom
One voice can speak with wisdom One heart can know what’s true One life can make the difference You see, it’s up to you!!
So class of 2015, it’s up to you! Congratulations and go make a difference!!
Broughton High School Class of 2015