McLouth co-valedictorian Hoffhines reminisces about education
Editor’s note: This is a transcript of McLouth High School co-valedictorian Corinne Hoffhine’s speech she gave at MHS graduation Saturday. The Mirror had not received the transcript from fellow co-valedictorian Logan Terry at press time.
I would like to start by thanking the people who made my last four years at McLouth High School memorable. I want to thank my teachers for challenging me and for never letting me quit when I wanted to give up — especially on that last calculus problem. I also would like to thank my friends and my siblings for making me laugh, always being there for me, and for helping me get through these last few years. I would like to thank my parents for putting up with my procrastination on projects and for only accepting my best.
At McLouth High School, not only did we learn what was in the books, but we learned things about life and about ourselves that we will remember for the rest of our lives. Our class has made mistakes along the way, and we almost always learned from them. We learned Mr. Karn doesn’t like his house being TP-ed, and Mr. Freeman really doesn’t care for it either. On our adventure in Chicago we learned that the traffic there does not like to stop for pedestrians. We learned that playing Red Rover in gym class maybe wasn’t the best idea in the world. Mr. Haas taught us that the key to a good joke is… timing. We also learned things about our classmates — their likes, dislikes, and maybe even their crazy fear of clowns. We learned that our class is full people with varied personalities and different hopes and dreams — I would like to wish all of you luck in finding what you’re looking for in the next step of life.
The first semester of our senior year, the class of 2011 was excited for our last year of high school. As the day of graduation grew closer, the excitement was no longer there as reality began to set in. Many of my classmates started to dread graduation because they were scared — scared of being on their own, making their own decisions, and all the other responsibilities that we will be expected to accomplish as adults. Marianne Williamson once said, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
“It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.
“We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God.
“Your playing small does not serve the world.
“There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you.
“We are all meant to shine, as children do.
“We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
“It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone.
“And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
“As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
So my challenge for you is don’t be afraid of who you are and embrace who you will become. Don’t hold back, live life to the fullest, and live with no regrets.
There are many memories that I will take with me from my high school experience. If you would ask me what is the one moment that I will remember the most, it is this:
On our first day of our school our senior year, one of our teachers asked us to write down some things on a note card. We wrote our names, what we wanted to learn in that class, and one overall goal we had for the year. On my card my goal was to be valedictorian. The next class that teacher talked to the class about our cards. When he got to mine he laughed a little, saying that it was a strange goal and maybe I should learn to spell valedictorian before I become it. That day while he was talking to the class, Mr. Haas said something that greatly impacted my senior year and will impact the rest of my life. He said, “It’s not about how many honors and awards you get. It’s not about being valedictorian. It’s what you get out of it, and it’s what you do with it.” So Mr. Haas, my answer for you is I do know how to spell valedictorian — it’s V-A-L-E-D-I-C-T-O-R-I-A-N. I also plan on taking the life lesson, my work ethics, and the knowledge I have gained at McLouth High School and using it for the rest of my life. Through Mr. Haas’s wisdom, I learned that life isn’t about the number of awards you receive or the recognition you get; it’s about how many people you can impact. Life is about how you can make the world a better place. So I have one question for my fellow classmates of the class of 2011. You have just acquired a high school education. What are you going to do with it?