“Let’s begin my speech with a quote from rapper and philosopher, ‘2 Chainz’, ‘I did what they say I wouldn’t, I went where they say I couldn’t, no lie, no lie.’ Dr. Chainz really set the tone for my speech tonight,” said Tri-County North High School Valedictorian Urmil Patel.
“Graduates, we must always push ourselves and dare to dream. In this portion of our long, unfinished journey, we have gained lots of knowledge, learning skills; but what good is this knowledge, what good is that skill, if it’s not pushed? The only reason something is impossible, is because it hasn’t been done yet,” Patel continued during the ceremony on Thursday, May 29.
“Graduates, I challenge you tonight to dream and dedicate yourselves to do what they say you wont, go where they say you can’t. Use what you’ve learned throughout these years to push the boundaries further, and to raise the bar higher.”
“I have watched this class take the lead in organizations at school,” said Superintendent Bill Derringer. “In athletics, in their churches, and in community groups. I have been impressed by their desire to give of themselves, so others can be better equipped for the challenges of life. This class not only presents itself with academic and athletic talent, they come to us with a dedication of service to each other and to their community. In my opinion, we have great things to look forward to from these young men and women.”
“We have great reasons to be proud of each and every one of them. Tonight, these young men and women leave this school well prepared for the future. Some of them are bound to colleges and universities … some of them are bound for employment in a workforce they have been framed to participate in. All of them are ready to make this transition into adulthood,” said Derringer.
Salutatorian Hannah Loughman said, “Although there are only 80 of us, we are strong, diverse in talent, passionate in our interests, motivated in academics, strong in athletic abilities, and unique in personalities. As many of you know, softball is a great passion of mine, and has had a positive impact in many areas of my life.” Loughman compared her time at Tri-County North to a softball diamond, each base representing elementary, middle, high school, and then graduation as home base.
TCN sported four valedictorians this year: Megan McClain, Savannah Smith, Urmil Patel, and Jesse Cavendish.
The class as a whole, earned over $800,000 in scholarships to their future endeavors. Eighty total students graduated Thursday.
“What will matter is not what you’ve learned, but what you’ve taught,” said Patel. “What will matter is every act of integrity, compassion, or courage that empowered or encouraged. What will matter is not your competence, but your character. What will matter is not how many people you knew, but how many people who will feel loss when you’re gone.”