Good afternoon everyone. Welcome!

It is an honor to address the Weiser School Board, Superintendent Overgaard, Principal Davies, Vice Principal Dickerson, the fantastic staff of Weiser High School, the friends and families gathered here today, and, of course, the graduating class of 2018! 

Today is about the 99 of us that are beginning the next chapter of our lives. 

Looking at you all today, I see our red and white gowns of course, but more importantly I see great people within them. These exemplary men and women are not just the kind of friends that say hello in the hallway. These are the kind of friends that made high school so memorable and simply so fun.

Over the course of these four years we have gone through a lot together. 

Braving Mr. Nesbitt’s driving, Watching movies under the stars next to the railroad tracks, Dealing with Vanessa’s road rage, Watching Sara one punch Emma at fight night, Roller-skating in Nampa and watching Rein get lapped by 13 year old girls, Brittany asking questions about babies growing in the stomach, and playing on the merry-go-round at memorial park
 
The list goes on of course. Over these 12 years, we have been lucky enough to share in some great times, unfortunate to share in some hard times, and been fortunate enough to enjoy some flat out funny times. Throughout our time at Pioneer, Park, the Middle school, and through our Senior Party on Tuesday, we are going to keep on having our great times. 

Through all of this, we didn’t know we were making the memories that we would look back on in fondness for the rest of our lives. 

All throughout high school, we heard that Weiser is different from other schools. We heard in government and almost everywhere. Now that we’re about to leave, I think it is completely true.

We are the home to some of the best athletes and golfers in the whole of Idaho. We have a two-event state champion runner already signed at a college. We have a musician going off to represent Weiser in the Army National Guard. We have the state runner-up golf team. We have a chamber choir that has gotten a superior four years in a row. We have a jazz band that has played with Grammy-nominated artists more than once. We have a class in which 100% of our entering senior class will graduate. Weiser High School truly is a special place. 

Think back eight months to our homecoming this year. In such a busy time of year, fall sports were winding up, getting into the end of seasons and classes were really rolling, not just our class but the whole student body got together to celebrate our town and our football team. Throughout the week of festivities, pep rallies, street dances, and games, our class came together and we have stayed the same since. Homecoming, among the other things we as a class have done throughout the year, made our senior year great. We never lost at tug-o-war, and yes Jacky, it was a lot fun.
In a town where we have Rhodes Scholars growing wild gardens on the East Side of town, Artists creating works seen by millions in the West, expansive neighborhoods and businesses that have sustained us for so long to the south, and a world-renowned Fiddle Festival taking place in the north, our school is only one part of a larger picture.

Our little western Idaho town, nestled between the railroad and the Snake River, has provided opportunities to us that are astounding. Whether it be the education foundation giving money for students to dive into athletics training programs or music camps or our school board supporting the students in trying something new like taking the time to walk through the other schools to show off our senior class, Weiser has been there supporting us. But beyond these organizations, it is the people of this community that strive to ensure our combined success and continued greatness.

If it was not for the countless hours that each of these parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, business owners, and friends poured into our lives, we would not be sitting here today ready to embark on the greatest adventure of our lives. 

But I believe that my class would agree that it would be a great disservice if we didn’t take a moment to honor our teachers. For an unknown reason, these adults with families and of their own have committed themselves to furthering our lives. They have pushed,  pulled, and dragged us through high school. We have shared in the tremendous privilege of knowing these people for four years and now we have the honor to know them the rest of our lives. Please join me in once again thanking our fantastic teachers.

 As I finish, I want to leave you sitting before me with some pieces of knowledge imparted on me from some of the most successful and thoughtful people in life, my parents and coaches.:

 First, remember who you are: There are going to be challenging times unlike anything we have seen. There will be people smarter than us, faster than us, and more attractive than us. We will grow and change in college and after, but don’t strive to be someone else. Live your life. 

Second, find your goals: with all of the upcoming experiences we are bound to see, new doors will be opened and opportunities beyond our wildest dreams will become tangible and possible. These are the things we have to go for.

Third, stride for your goals with every inkling of your passion: Effort is irreplaceable in life. As simple as putting one foot in front of the other those last 6 miles of the marathon. If you do that I promise we will be successful. We are at the 20 mile mark in our education. Most of it is behind us, but we have to finish strong now.

And lastly,  Never stop. Never stop learning. Never stop dreaming. Never stop trying. Never stop being curious. And most importantly, Never stop being a Wolverine.

Remember the greatness that is in our small town and the greatness that resides in each of us. 

We are the summation of the love and time given to us by those most important people in our lives. 

As we walk out of the auditorium today, done with this part of our lives and moving on to new and different places and things, remember our town and remember each other. We are a class filled with incredible gifts and astounding talents. Let’s go out into our world and make it a better place. If anyone can do it, the 99 of us here today can.

From this day forward, when we walk out of this gym for the last time, we will be unified behind the name, Weiser High School Class of 2018.

Let us all wear it with pride!

Thank you.