2017 Valedictorian Speech Caleb Klopfenstein Class of 2017
My fellow graduates, students, faculty, family, and others, today I have been charged with speaking to you briefly on this bittersweet occasion. I say this because though it may be a tad bitter to our families and some of the staff here, it is very sweet for those of us graduating. I may speak for at least some of my class by saying that this event seemed like it would never arrive. But, here we are. Each of you, my classmates, somehow made it through this unique phase of life. For all the students sitting in the audience, alas, you still have a ways to go. But, if we made it, anyone can. I would be remiss if I didn’t take the short time I have to reflect on my time at ECA, as well as expressing my gratitude to the people that made it so exceptional. It has been remarkable to grow up beside each of you, and watch all of you grow in maturity, in knowledge, in wisdom, and in the love of Christ around me.
Over the course of several years, my fellow classmates and I were berated by math teachers, embarrassed at school assemblies, and trying to keep up with ever-changing wifi passwords. And just so you know, that’s not an admission of guilt. Through these experiences, we bonded. I’m incredibly thankful for the people graduating with me today, as well as those that came and went along the way. Each one of them added something to this incredible journey, and collectively, they made high school tolerable when it otherwise wasn’t, and great when it was otherwise good.
To the incoming seniors, juniors, and underclassmen: we thank you for your love and friendship. You befriended us and shared this experience with us, and now we trust that we are leaving the school in good hands.
Equally deserving of thanks are the loving, caring, and committed staff and faculty members of our school. A more supportive administration could not be found anywhere. Office staffers, you were always around for assistance, for counsel, or simply for company. Teachers, you challenged us to be our best, but you were also considerate and understanding. When we struggled in class, you listened and helped. You heard us and supported us in times of struggle outside of class. You not only gave us knowledge, but gave us advice; wisdom spoken from experience. And that is perhaps even more valuable.
Let me end with a few words of encouragement, and advice, to my fellow graduates. Our class will send Navy medics, businessmen, artists, scientists, and much more out into the world. The talent, skills, passion, and intellect that each of you possess are significant. All of you are capable of great achievement, and perhaps more importantly, you have been equipped with the Word of God to guide you throughout the rest of your life. Do not let your talents go to waste. Apply yourselves. If you know your dream, chase it. If you don’t yet know it, find it, and then do the same. Aim to live in such a way that in the end, you regret nothing. And if nothing else, trust the Lord in everything you do. He will never leave you, and he will never forsake you.
So, on behalf of the class of 2017,
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