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2024 Salutatorian's Speech

ANNE CHEDID, Class of 2024 Salutatorian

Thank you for the opportunity to speak with you again. In addition to being class president, I have the honor of being the Class of 2024 Salutatorian. I am so proud to have the opportunity to speak with you today, but I would be remiss if I did not take the chance to thank the people who helped me get to this point. First and foremost, thank you to my parents, and all of our parents, who came to every game, performance, and conference; who always pushed us to try new things and taught us the importance of sacrifice. Thank you to my siblings, Michael, Katherine, and Jason, and my grandparents, for always supporting my dreams. Thank you to my best friends for always believing in me. Finally, thank you to the administration, staff, and all of our teachers who have believed in us and pushed us to achieve our potential. You could have picked any job in the world, and you picked helping students like me. On behalf of the Class of 2024, I would like to thank you for everything you have done for us. 

I thought a lot about what to write in this speech, and honestly was at a loss for words which, if you know me, does not happen very often. So, I decided that I would look to a person who was much older and hopefully wiser than me, and give you some advice that I try to follow myself. I'm a bit of a history buff, so I am going to start off with a story. 

Winston Churchill was a British army officer and prime minister during the early 1940s and 1950s. Churchill had many failures, including his loss of the post-World War II election. Despite his failures, Churchill is regarded as the greatest British prime minister of all time.  

While we might not have had to lead a nation through a world war, we had our own hardships. We battled the thousands of homework assignments and hundreds of tests we had to study for during junior year. We trudged through winter snow storms when it looked like we were going to run out of snow days, and marched on through the odd smells coming from the World Language hallway. on the days that we felt that we wouldn’t make it, we persevered, and dared to keep pushing forward.

Everything we have experienced the past four years has gotten us to this moment. To think that one day we would be graduating, having seen past seniors in their caps and gowns, truly felt unimaginable. But look around. Now we’re the ones wearing the caps, with tassels hitting our ears at a weird angle and draped in these royal blue gowns that don’t quite fit exactly as we thought they would. We never thought we would be here. But we are. And even this exact moment that we are living in feels terrifying. So many questions are floating around in our heads: how do we leave this place, this town and school that has been our home and part of our identity for so long? How do we know if we’re ready to take on the world? But simultaneously, we all know the answers. It is time to move on, and we are ready. I know this isn’t the first scary moment you have had in your life, and I know it won’t be the last, but looking down at this sea of blue, I see people with the drive, passion, and determination to change the world. 

I want to remind you of Winston Churchill, who said “success is not final; failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts.” This is true, not only for war heroes like Churchill, but also normal people like you and me. I won't lie and say that the path to reaching your true potential will be easy, because it won’t be. The world can and will be scary, but just four years ago we thought navigating the triangle was scary. So, I challenge you to chase your dreams. If we take the first step, if we dare to take the chance, despite the hardships we know we will face, we will all experience monumental success. Congratulations, Class of 2024.


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