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Graduation Speech: Steven Biju George

In 1973, the foundations of our second home for the last four years were laid. Since then, the halls of NBTHS have seen decades worth of graduating classes and thousands of alumni. The second we exit this auditorium we become one with this school's history...and what have we done to further its story? Like the classes that came before, here, we shape the culture, take initiative, and break new ground. Here, we compete alongside our fellow students as a unified force and return as conquering heroes, wearing medals proudly as members of one of the most diverse school districts in the state. That is our history, but the way I see it, history is only as good as what we can learn from it. 

The NBTHS we know didn’t fall out of the sky. No, our community is the way that it is due to 50 years' worth of small, incremental improvements. The Japanese word for that idea is Kaizen. But the culture we live in is obsessed with radical transformations. We want big

things and we want them yesterday. But there’s a lesson to learn in our school’s history about the power of incremental improvement. The opportunities and culture of NBTHS exist not because of sudden transformations but because of the steady effort of dedicated individuals and decades’ worth of good, small choices. Kaizen always comes before Kaikaku, which means “breakthrough transformation.” 

I look out today at all of you and see an ocean of breakthroughs waiting to happen. But remember this; the world says your titles and biggest achievements are most important, but I’m saying history disagrees. Embrace the journey as much as the destination to turn every day into a victory, not just a step towards success.

This is a simple truth I learned from this school, my parents, my incredible teachers, and from men like Paul Bongiovi, who exemplified commitment to such a degree that he literally gave his life in service to his students. I don’t know what tomorrow holds, but I’ve come to appreciate that. What I do know is that I love you all and am beyond excited for everything you’ll accomplish, whether that’s your small victories in a single day or your world-changing breakthroughs I’ll be hearing about on the news. Go get ‘em, Class of 2024. 


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