[The following is the text of the speech given by Class of 2011 President Christopher Gerndt at Wakefield Memorial High School's Class of 2011 Graduation ceremony held on June 4, 2011.]
Good morning. We are gathered here today to celebrate and validate the graduation of the Class of 2011. I am Chris Gerndt, class president, and I am honored to have the opportunity to speak today. High school has been an unforgettable journey that has prepared us for the future, whatever it may hold. To start, I would like to thank all of those who have helped us get to this point and have supported us along the way. To Dr. Smith, Superintendent Landers, our class advisors Ms. Macero and Ms. Connolly, the rest of the faculty and staff at WHS, our friends, and family- thank you.
These past four years have involved some of the most memorable and influential moments of our lives. Individually, our experiences here are unique, but together we share a common bond as members of the class of 2011 and soon-to-be graduates of Wakefield Memorial High School. We have spent countless hours in this high school awaiting this day, but now that it’s here my feelings are mixed. I am filled with excitement and anticipation as the next stage in my life is about to begin. I am thrilled to be graduating high school. But I also have feelings of melancholy and nostalgia. This building has given me the groundwork for my future, and it has been a haven of comfort, security, and happiness. Four years ago, I could not have predicted the impact Wakefield High School would have on me.
Without the support of our parents or guardians and our teachers, we may not have made it to this day. They have been there for us since the beginning, guiding us, helping us, and watching us grow. They have witnessed us mature into responsible young adults. They have inspired us to live up to our potential through diligence and dedication. The faculty at WHS is unparalleled. I never looked at a new class schedule and said with regret, “Aww I have this teacher…” Every teacher is committed to teaching and they enjoy teaching us. They have made our experience more enjoyable because they love what they do.
Over the past three years that I have been a class officer, I have formed a close relationship with our class advisors, Ms. Macero and Ms. Connolly. I think I can speak for all the class officers in saying that we couldn’t have done it without them. Their dedication and passion are greatly appreciated. At times it felt as if Ms. Macero was another class officer as opposed to an adviser. She and Ms. Connolly took time out of their already hectic lives to make sure the Class of 2011 would have a memorable high school experience. Ms. Connolly has been pregnant twice in the past few years, and she still found the time to help us with matters less important than raising a family. Their guidance led to many successful fundraisers and entertaining class events. I will miss them greatly next year, but I can’t wait to party with them at our five year reunion!!
Next, I would like to address my fellow classmates. Each and every one of you is a special part of this class. Most of us have been together since the fifth grade, and we have formed a strong bond since then. Senior year has brought us closer than ever with events such as Senior Show, the hockey games, and Beach Day. These past few weeks have been a whirlwind to say the least. With so much going on such as prom, post-prom festivities, class night, and now graduation it can be difficult to sit-back and take it all in. So I ask you to take a moment to recall those memorable times, to embrace this memorable time. Recollect your favorite moments spent with each other and vow to never forget the friends you have made at Wakefield High School. I will always have memories of my years spent at WHS. Whether it’s winning the football game on Thanksgiving, attempting to dance on stage during the Senior show, seeing Ms. Farrah’s reaction to a burning pan holder in life skills class, or turning Mr. Brennan’s room into a deli while making sandwiches for a ski and snowboard club trip.
Apart from what we have learned inside the classroom, high school has taught us many lessons in life as well. The most significant lessons that high school has taught us cannot not be found in a book. We have learned to be responsible, honest, mature, and independent individuals. Wakefield High School has prepared us for the future, near and far, and has been the keystone in our lives.
In closing, to all the wonderful parents and grandparents here today, to all the siblings and friends, and to all my classmates, I hope you enjoy the ceremony and welcome to the graduation of the Class of 2011!!!!