Salutary Address – Emma Weston

Photos by Kenan Cooper – The Reading Post

Good evening students, family, friends, and faculty. Thank you for joining us this afternoon. After 4 years of hard work and many nights with little sleep, the class of 2018 has finally arrived at the end of high school. Personally, about a week ago when I was approached by our dear principal Mr. Bakr, I thought my high school assignments had finally come to an end. But, little did I know that my planned week of Netflix would be replaced with writing and overcoming a fear of public speaking, admittedly with some Netflix thrown in.

First of all, welcome and thank you. Without the help of all of you, our teachers, families, and friends, none of us in the RMHS Class of 2018, would be here today. Thank you to our teachers for gifting us with knowledge. Even though I may not remember how to construct a confidence interval in a few years, there are many lessons that I will carry with me forever. My teachers have taught me more than just formulas; their lessons on life and perspectives will stick with me. Thank you to the friends whose shoulders we could lean on and who gave us a break when we needed one. Whether it was a trip to Chili’s or a movie in the basement, the laughs are much appreciated. Thank you to our families and specifically parents who have supported us in our education since our first days at preschool and kindergarten. From the first time, we read Green Eggs and Ham to our last math test, our focuses may have changed. Instead of focusing on the best-stuffed animal to bring to show and tell, we are now focusing on the best path to brighten our future, but through it all, our parents’ and our family’s focus has never shifted; loving, caring, and supporting us no matter the circumstance.

Writing this speech gave me an opportunity to reflect on high school. Between all the tests and homework, high school became so much more than just a place to learn. It is more: than just this building at 62 Oakland Road, it is more than just the fields, and the gym and the performing arts center. I see high school as more than just a place, but an era in our life. These four years have been the most transformative of our lives, years that will be a part of us forever. Whether it was finding a new favorite hobby or club, meeting a new best friend, or discovering your answer to the age-old question of what you want to do when you grow up, high school has supplied us with not only knowledge but experience. As we move forward into the next few years, we will continue developing into our own people, something that started right here, at RMHS.

We are not the same class that entered this school four years ago, thank god. Four years from now, and four years after that, we will continue to grow and change into new people. But no matter where we end up, we are all connected in one way. Whether you have been in the Reading school system for all 13 years or just one, our lives have converged for at least this moment. We are all a part of the Reading Memorial High School class of 2018. No matter what happens, this will always remain true. In 20 years when you are showing your yearbook to your kids, you may not remember every name, but do remember the teachers who gave hours of their lives to us, the friends that helped to shape us, and the memories that we made in these four years. No matter where we end up, in the wise words of High School Musical, “We’re all in this together.” Thank you.

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