Valedictorian and Salutatorian Speeches
June 10, 2021
Class of 2021 Valedictorian Anna Claire Fortier
Good afternoon parents, teachers, friends, family, mentors, community members and fellow graduates,
Today is a very exciting and important day. Today we become Dayton High School graduates. Today is a day of celebration. Since the beginning of freshman year, we have been preparing for this day. Some of us thought this day would never come. When we first started high school, we were told that these four years would fly by.
At first, we did not believe it. I think we all thought we would be going to this school for the rest of our lives. Now we are all sitting here wishing time would stop. Wishing we could go back and do it all again.
One thing I love about this class is how close we are to each other Some of us have known each other since kindergarten and some of us have known each other for only a couple of weeks. We have all experienced so much, especially these last two years.
We all had to experience our senior year during a pandemic. We had to sit in on Zoom meetings and try our hardest to pay attention. Sometimes we would watch a teacher talk for 20 minutes while they were muted on Zoom and pray that what they were saying was not on the test.
During our junior year, we had to stay home, away from our friends. We did not get to experience Prom, winter sports and many other things our junior year.
Thankfully we were able to come back to school for most of our senior year, even though we had to sit six feet apart and wear a mask. I do believe everything we have experienced in the past four years has brought us closer together. We are like a family.
After today we will all go our separate ways. Some of us will go off to be lawyers, doctors, farmers, teachers and bakers. After today we will start a new chapter in our lives. I know for most of us it will be scary at first but if we can survive going through a pandemic during our senior year, then I think we can survive anything.
I want to take a moment and thank the teachers, staff, community members and parents for making this senior year so special. Without you we would not be sitting here today. Thank you for all that you have done. Teachers, thank you for never giving up on us. Thank you for being patient with us and for encouraging us to follow our dreams.
Parents, thank you for the love and support you have given us over the years.
Thank you to all the staff at Dayton High School for making our school safe during a pandemic.
And thank you to all the community members, teachers and school staff who helped make this day possible.
I want to leave you all with a quote from Mary Kat Ash. She states: "When you reach an obstacle, turn it into an opportunity. You have a choice. You can overcome and be a winner, or you can allow it to overcome you and be a loser. The choice is yours and yours alone. Refuse to throw in the towel. Go that extra mile that failures refuse to travel. It is far better to be exhausted from success than to be rested from failure."
After today, I want every senior here to follow your dreams and do not let anything stop you. No matter how big or small your dream is, I want you to follow it. Whether it is becoming an actor, or owning a small business. I want every one here to find something they love doing and do it. Do not let anything stop you, not even a pandemic. Become a winner.
Lastly, after this ceremony, I want every senior sitting here today to thank the person who helped you most during high school. This can be anyone. It can be a staff member, teacher, family member, friend or community member. After this ceremony, go over and thank that one person who helped you graduate, because without them, you would not be sitting here today.
Congratulations to the Class of 2021! And good luck!
Salutatorian Roselin Burris
Good afternoon family, friends, faculty, and fellow graduates, My name is Roselin Burris and it is with great pleasure that I stand before you as my class's salutatorian. Throughout the four years in which I attended Dayton High School, I have become part of the community and have made many friends and life-long memories.
I moved to Dayton the summer before my freshman year and, in all honesty, I didn't expect to still be in Dayton the following year. As a child, my family moved around a lot and this made it hard for me to make connections in school and in the community. However, over the years that I have attended Dayton High School, I have felt that I am truly a part of this wonderful community. It has been an amazing journey to get here, full of highs and lows, and though we are graduating today it feels like no time has passed at all. I am so glad that I got to experience four years of high school with all of you.
I'd like to take a minute to thank everyone who helped me get to where I am today. I'd like to thank my mom for supporting me throughout my life and through all the work I had to do in order to get here. I'd also like to thank my teachers for pushing me to do my best in school and work as hard as I can. And friends that have made me laugh and made each day better. I know that I wouldn't be here today without all the support I have received from those around me. Each graduate has people who have helped them throughout their lives and I'd like to thank these people as they have had a lasting impact on.
Neil Gaiman once said "Now go, and make interesting mistakes, make amazing mistakes, make glorious and fantastic mistakes. Break rules. Leave the world more interesting for you being here. Make good art." Many of us are going our separate ways and starting a new chapter in our lives. I am so glad that I got to spend these four years of high school together. And I know that each of us are going to do amazing things and I wish you all the best in your future endeavors.