Thursday, June 7, 2012

Pottstown Graduation Speeches

Blogger's Note: Because we could not send a reporter to yesterday's Pottstown High School Graduation, find below the speeches given by Valedictorian Carly Mutter and Salutatorian Christina Gaugler as supplied by FOB, John Armato.

Mercury Photo by John Strickler
Pottstown Salutatorian Christina Gaugler, left, and Carly Mutter, right, were all smiles at last night's graduation.
Carly's Speech: 
Good evening and welcome to the class of 2012’s graduation.

I remember sitting in the stands at graduation four years ago. That was when I told myself that this is where I would be standing at my graduation. We all had goals entering high school, whether it was to try a new sport, make friends, break a school record, get honor roll, get into a certain college, or discover what you want to do with your life beyond high school. Whatever your goal was these past four years, I hope you’ve accomplished it. I’m sure everyone’s heard the saying you can do anything if you put your mind to it. As cliché as this is, it’s true. Even if you didn’t try your best in high school, you can still try your best now, where it really counts: in life.

Its easy to get caught up in the excitement of graduation, and I think many of us forget to thank the people who helped us get here. Take a moment right now and think of a few people who have impacted your life. Someone who inspired you, listened to you, supported you, pushed you, and cared for you. I would like to take a couple seconds to thank the most important people in my life. Thanks to my mom and dad for your endless support, which I know will continue even though I am graduating. My sister Lauren for being not only a sister but a best friend and role model. My cousin Emily for being there for me since we were babies. My best friends, Emily, Mike, and Vaughn. I could not have survived high school without you. My grandmom, and of course my grandpop, who unfortunately could not be here today because cancer took his life, but I know he is watching and is proud of me.

The past 13 years of our lives have been consumed by school. When we started elementary school at the ages of 4 and 5, all we knew was our parents and our home. Entering that classroom full of other children we didn’t know, and a strange adult who would be our teacher, made us grasp harder onto our parent’s hands, never wanting to let go. Once we got older however, we could not wait to let go of our parent’s hands. As we progressed through elementary school we began to shape into the individuals that we are today. We developed friendships, morals, interests, and intellectual minds.

Once we turned 12 we entered middle school, also known as the awkward years…and believe me, they were awkward. What I’ve always wondered is why this is the age when we started experimenting with dating? I guess looks didn’t really matter then… We spent our middle school days making new friends, losing those friends, then being friends with them again…oh and breaking up with our “boyfriends and girlfriends” every other day. Many of us say we hated middle school, but some good things did come out of it. Among all the fights and drama, we made friends that we still have today. We joined new clubs and found new interests, and even our passions such as sports, community service, or band. We enjoyed more freedom than we had in elementary school and we thought we were all grown up.

Little did we know, we were not all grown up, but we started to learn more of what that’s all about in high school. We entered high school as freshmen, still a bit caught up in our middle school lives. The upperclassmen seemed so much older than us, and the school seemed so much bigger than it does now. I’m sure many of us got lost on our first day—I know I did. We now only had four classes a day, and they were an hour and a half each. At first this seemed like the end of the world, but we got used to it and even came to like it—especially when we became seniors and only had one or two blocks a day. As the years went by, time seemed to go faster and faster. With the stresses of junior year, such as AP classes, SATs, and deciding what youre doing in the future, most of that year is just a blur. I know I speak for everyone when I say senior year flew by. One minute we’re starting our first day as seniors, the next we’re sitting here- about to graduate. For the past 13 years all we have known is this school, this town, and these friends. It’s scary to think that after tonight we will be going separate ways, and never entering Pottstown High School again as students. Thanks to the technology we have now, tonight won’t really be a goodbye, more like a see you later. I know after this we’ll all be crying and hugging like we’ll never see each other again, but as soon as we get home we’ll be texting our friends making plans for tomorrow. So Class of 2012, we finally did it. Whether you’re going to college, into the military, or getting a job, just make sure you do something you love. Remember the good times you had at Pottstown, the great friends, and amazing teachers. Go on and do something extraordinary, because that is what the class of 2012 is destined to do. Congratulations!

Christina's Speech:
Good evening fellow graduates, the faculty of Pottstown School District, and all of our families, friends, and supporters that have motivated us throughout the years.  

I have to start off by saying we made it!  The countless hours we have spent studying, doing homework, and staying up late writing essays due the next morning have finally paid off.  

All of our hard work that we have put forth has led us to this day: graduation.  

Shortly, we will be walking across the stage while our names are being called to receive our diplomas, but graduation is not the end, it is merely the beginning. For twelve years we have grown together as a class, both in laughter and in sadness, but today, we are coming out stronger than ever.   
Though we will soon be heading our separate ways, the memories and friendships we have forged on this journey will always be a part of us. I, like all the graduates who sit before me, have important people in my life who are always there to support me and push me to do my best. 

I would like to thank my parents for always encouraging me try my hardest, staying up with me late at night to finish projects, and most of all, loving me unconditionally through my best and worst times.   

My grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins are also to thank for always being there for me and giving me advice.  Whether it has been good or bad advice is debatable.  

Our years at PHS have been spent preparing for the road ahead, all while giving us experiences we will always cherish. 

But it is now that we must close this chapter of our lives and begin our next. Whether your future plans are to attend college, a tech-school, join the military, or head straight into the work force, make sure to do whatever makes YOU happy. 

Though the future may bear many obstacles, be sure to stay focused on your goals, and remember to smile and appreciate the little things along the way, as these are what we will keep with us forever.  Continue to dream big, work hard, and never give up; our lives are just beginning.   

As we continue on in our lives, we must never forget where we came from, Pottstown Senior High School.  The relationships we formed here, the education we have received, and the lessons we have learned have made us into the unique, intelligent young men and women we are today. 

Congratulations class of 2012, I wish you the best of luck in all of your future endeavors.

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