Good morning ladies and gentlemen. It is a great honor to be here today. First, I would like to thank all my teachers, counselors, friends, and family who have helped me get to where I am right now. I would also like to thank Holy Trinity’s board of trustees and administrators for all the work you do as well.
We will be leaving our home today. Many of my friends and I sitting here on the front row have been here since we were 3 years old. Whether we have been at Holy Trinity for 15 years or 5, it has made us who we are. And who we are is a class that has amazing diversity in passions. Those of us who went to the Lower School have memories like how we listened to Mrs. Ketterer’s I Care Cat and Bragin’ Dragon and learned hands are for helping. And on Wet and Wild Day, we got to play in the little kiddie pools in the courtyard, wash the play toys like the Little Tikes Car and make huge bubbles with all of our friends. For 3 years, we shared water days, fire truck exploration and Santa Claus visits. In Kindergarten, we learned about Miss Wishy Washy from Mrs. Bentz and wrote our very own made up story that we illustrated, then presented to the whole class and their parents. Our most favorite field trip of all time was in first grade when we went on our first field trip together. And it was a very exciting one, we actually rode a bus and went to an awesome place, beachside Publix. We even got to wear those cute paper hats and bouffant bonnets that the meat department gave us. Later, things got even more exciting when we got to go to Sea World, as well as take the first overnight field trip to St Augustine and a multi-day trip across the great state of Florida that included a swamp buggy ride. You know, one thing that I miss, is those awesome parties at the Lower School. I just wish we could have continued having Fall Festival, Santa coming to visit, sharing Valentine’s Day, and even trying to find out how that darned leprechaun got into our classroom, made a mess, and turned the toilet water green. But, we grew up. We started really doing schoolwork, and homework, and more homework. I remember one time, in fourth grade, Zack’s dog really ate his homework, so he brought in the slobbery remains in a plastic bag to show Mrs. Evans. Times were so easy and fun at the lower school. I want to thank Mrs. Gavrish for showing us we all were artists, even me who struggled with making stick figures. Mrs. Ernewein who created wonderful musical productions for every grade, every year. Mrs. Jo Ellen Williams for believing there was an NBA player in every one of us. Mrs Harper and Mrs Killian for helping every student at the Lower School prove they could pass at least one part of the presidential physical fitness test. Even Dr. Cole left his impression on us with the Doctor Cole (gesture).
Then we moved to the Upper School. Junior High, Wow. We were with the big kids now! Our class size more than doubled and we became the largest class Holy Trinity has ever had. Becoming an Upper School student came with some nice perks, too. Like, we didn’t have to wipe down our tables after lunch anymore. Well, most of the time. Unless we had forgotten to wear best dressed or had left a huge mess the day before. We even got to wear flip-flops, colorful belts, and flowers in our hair, if we wanted to. We were in the big league when we got to 7th grade. We even got to have dances in the tiger café with decorations and a DJ, one for homecoming and another one in the spring. And, who can forget our last big field trip, Washington DC. Dinner and dancing on the boat was something to remember. One of the more memorable parts of 8th grade was when we watched Roots for 2 weeks. Then, everyone in honors bio named their flatworms after Kunta Kinte, Kissie, or Chicken George. You know, it seems like yesterday that we entered Junior High school. Time has flown by. We have had some great experiences, though.
Then there was High School. That’s when it really got hard. We had more homework, and we had already had more homework than any other student body in the area. But, we learned so much here. I will just name a few of the important things. In Mr. Lovelace’s English class, we learned all the grammar we will probably ever know. Taking Latin with Mrs. Wilbur, I learned it even more so. In Mr. Chiarella’s class, we learned what it really means to study. In Mrs. Rouse’s calculus classes, other than ample amounts of math, we learned that there actually is crying in calculus. In Mrs. Rehill’s class, we learned that teachers can be cool and Literature isn’t that bad. In Mrs. William’s class, we learned not to be a doormat. In Mr. Herntier’s class we were amazed with all of his magic tricks. The best theory I have heard so far about how he does it is that he can actually pause time to put the cards in the right place. Through the music department with Mrs. Wacaster and Mr. McCarl, we learned not only how to play music, but also to appreciate it.
Even though class-wide field trips ended in the 8th grade, we have had some pretty cool opportunities to get off campus. Some of us have been able to take school trips to The Galapagos, Costa Rica, Europe, China, Native American reservations, Haiti, Miami, and New York. Even being able to visit Stetson, Spanish forum, Latin forum (where we got to be the cool kids), French Congray, thespian competitions, and theater productions have provided us memorable times.
What has really made me enjoyed my time at Holy Trinity was the people here. I would like to give a shout out to some amazing people because without them, life here would not be possible. Mr. Slattery for keeping us safe and the fire alarms working. Mrs. Sutherland for keeping our resources available. Mrs. Ramos, Ms. Rea, Mrs. Bell, and Mrs Pagan for keeping us on a solid path for an amazing future. Mrs. Olinde for not only keeping us fed but for being the most beautiful lunch lady anywhere. Thank you to all the office workers, Ms. Arter, Mrs. Caccatorie, Ms. Craig, our esteemed Deans, Mrs. Kelce and Mr. Henderson, Mrs. G, and our Head of School, Mr. Hayes. Also, a big shout out to Mr Delbuno and Mr. Gibson who I am pretty sure live here and work 24 -7. And for all the teachers that have ever taught any of us at this wonderful school.
Not only are the teachers fabulous, but the students are great, too.
We are graduating 4 national merit finalists (Congrats to Nick, Jay, Denis, and Nate), 10 college bound athletes (Also congrats to J’V’on, Daniel, Lindsay, Matt, Demetrius, Andrew, Malaya, Keoni, Julian, and Skyler who will all be playing sports in college). They’re a great representation of the large percentage of our students who play sports. And our class has earned 5.6 million dollars in scholarships. THAT’S AMAZING! In fact, our class is full of people who have been working hard all their lives. Like Faith who just can’t stop dancing, probably because she does it so well. We had Sommer who cheered in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. Aamir, our esteemed student body president who helped run a gubernatorial grassroots campaign. Nick, McKenzie, Evan, and Julian who created a band, performed numerous times in public and stayed together all year. We have other amazing musicians that have great singing voices and performed for us in school like Rav, Anna, and Milan. Jay and Nick who can play about any instrument there is. Kaley and Evan who can make a violin sing. We have the most amazing theatrical team with Kelly, Jimmy, Katie Merlin, Anush, Milan, and so many more. Into the Woods was a spectacular play! We could tell you put in over 75 hours of rehearsal time. Then there is Katie Hoagland who built a tiny house for her senior project, and she and Suzanna have done quite well in equestrian competitions. Stephen is the best DJ in all of Prog 2 and Reece is star programmer. Kalee Gaskin is a boss in field ecology. She handles the frogs like nobody’s business. Shout out to a great field eco group with Kalee, Lei, Andrea, and Chyanne.
We have classmates like Victoria and Zack who never expected to be great athletes but have competed beyond the state level in rowing. Our class has entrepreneurs who are launching businesses (like Anthony, Grafton, Matt, and Billy) and they haven’t even graduated from high school quite yet. We have Chass, a break dancing homecoming king. Our Mr. Tiger candidates outdid themselves and made it difficult to choose a king. And our homecoming queen, Joanna, is an inspiration. We have to talk about our Broadcast team, Yearbook staff, and Growl publishers. All of you are simply amazing. I think this is the best yearbook ever! You guys will be successful no matter where you go. We have students that have exceled in visual arts and foreign languages. I bet we are graduating with more AP credits than any class ever has.
I’ve pointed out our class’s diverse accomplishments, which are something to celebrate. We’re not cookie cutters. We’re shaped by our passions, and we all serve to honor the HT way by inspiring others to pursue their passions as we pursue ours. Everyone here has diverse talents. And as a result no one person represents the whole class. However, commitment and perseverance are qualities exhibited by everyone here. That is a legacy we take forward into the world.
We are already successful and it’s just beginning. There is no stopping us because we are the 2015 class of Holy Trinity!