Jack Orr put his mouth to the microphone on the Classic Center stage Friday, speaking of the “four years that never seemed to end, but then flew by.”
“Each one of us learned more than algebra, welding, or the periodic table,” said Orr, during Madison County High School’s 2008 commencement ceremony. “We learned what made us laugh and cry, but most importantly what kept us alive. … Some may say their experience was great, some bad, or some that they are just glad it’s finally over. One thing stays constant for us all through, this moment in time when we walk.”
Orr urged his classmates to trust their own internal sense of decency and to live life to the fullest.
“… Do not let these four years define who you are,” he said, during his speech “An Eternity to Now.” “Step outside the norm and experience this world that your eyes have seen, and tell your family, friends, and anyone who wants to hear of your travels and adventures.”
Valedictorian Brittany Ellisor said “it is impossible to describe the simultaneous emotions being felt right now by all of us graduating.”
“I know we are all extremely excited that high school is over and we now are given a little more independence, but these feelings of joy and pride are mixed with an emotion of sadness because weall realize that as we leave tonight, we will never all be together again,” said Ellisor.
The valedictorian said the Class of 2008 established many good memories that will be cherished in years to come.
“We have had some of the best times including winning all of the pep rallies, acting crazy at the football games, homecoming week and prom,” she said. “We have made it past the late nights cramming for tests, working on projects, and preparing for presentations.”
Ellisor said she and her classmates now have a new independence.
“This is it, we have made it to the point in our lives where no one is telling us anymore that we have to get up and be at class at 8:15, not to be tardy more than three times, and to complete our classwork,” said Ellisor. “We can decide for ourselves what we want our futures to be.”
Graduate Akalia Meadows offered thanks to family, friends, teachers, administrators and God for “helping to make our journey over the past 13 years a success.”
“I would like to take this moment to thank my wonderful mother and family for supporting and leading me down the right path,” she said.
Meadows said each member of her class is at a turning point in life.
“Over the past four years, each member of this class has been challenged academically, socially, and personally,” said Meadows.
“Tonight we embark on the first voyage of our adulthood: graduation from high school. After this ceremony, each graduate will begin to build their futures and become prosperous adults.”
She urged her classmates to make the most of their lives.
“However you choose to look back upon these past four years, they have been what we have made them,” said Meadows. “Our futures will also be what we make them.”