Archive for Thursday, July 23, 2020

Unprecedented events preparing seniors for next chapters, Reed says in speech

Tonganoxie High School senior Bryn Reed gives her valedictorian speech June 30 at Children's Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kan. Reed joined her fellow classmates in officially becoming THS graduates during commencement exercises at the home of Sporting Kansas City. Graduation was moved to the Major League Soccer venue to provide better social distancing opportunities due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tonganoxie High School senior Bryn Reed gives her valedictorian speech June 30 at Children's Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kan. Reed joined her fellow classmates in officially becoming THS graduates during commencement exercises at the home of Sporting Kansas City. Graduation was moved to the Major League Soccer venue to provide better social distancing opportunities due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

July 23, 2020

Bryn Reed, Tonganoxie High School valedictorian for the Class of 2020, gave a speech during commencement exercises July 20 at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kan.

Here’s a transcript of her speech:

And here I thought I was going to get out of giving a graduation speech. But since we’re all here, I might as well give one.

This is definitely not how I thought my senior year of high school would go. I know a lot of you are tired of people telling you how much you missed out on and how much that sucks, but hey, we did miss out, and that does suck. This whole situation is pretty much unprecedented and it’s cut our time in high school short.

But we made it! All the graduating seniors here today did graduate. It was a bit rough, and distance learning online was difficult for many of us and our teachers to get used to, but we got it all over with. Despite losing some high school experiences, all of us have exciting new places to go now that we’re out in the real world. Sure, we’re probably going to have to wait a few months, but we’ll get out there eventually.

I, like most of you, lived in the same small town for almost all of my life, staying with mostly the same classmates from elementary to high school. And everyone in our small school system, students, teachers, and administrators, have created an environment where we’ve all grown up physically, academically, and as people. So many of us students have stories about how a teacher has influenced us and helped shape us into the adults we now are. All of us have changed and matured over the years, and now it’s time to go out and use everything we’ve learned to make our own futures, whatever those may be.

There’s a lot of world out there, and with everything that’s been happening recently, that size can be pretty intimidating. But the fact that we’ve navigated this unique situation at the end of our high school careers proves that we’re ready. No matter what paths we choose for our lives, the education and experiences we’ve received together will allow us to move forward to our own destinations. Whether that life is in Tonganoxie, across the country, or across the world, all of us have the potential to forge our own way out into the world.

We made it, guys. We got through 13 years of school, hundreds of hours of learning, and an ending that absolutely none of us could possibly have anticipated. But we made it, and each and every one of us has proven that we can make it through anything the world throws at us.

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