If you would’ve asked me a few months ago about how I was feeling about graduation and the end of high school, I would’ve told you that I was insanely nervous and the majority of the emotions I was feeling were negative. But now, after the final moments in high school, with honors night, the final choir concert, and banquet I’ve felt more at peace and those negative feelings have started to subside. It’s more of a bittersweet feeling now, and I think a lot of seniors can relate to that. The feelings of happiness for what lies ahead in the future, but the feeling of solemness about all the amazing memories you’ve made in the last four years.
I wanted to say thank you to Oak Park Theatre. The last four years here have been nothing short of amazing and have truly given me a place to call home. Every memory, person, and bond are something I will hold closely to my heart. The theatre banquet ended my experience here in the most amazing way. I got eleven honors and recognitions that night. Two of the most notable were winning the Most Valuable Thespian Award and receiving the Benny Herrick Memorial Scholarship, which are two things I still can’t quite wrap my head around. I’d like to share an excerpt from my closing speech at banquet, because I feel like it sums up this year and my time here in the best way possible:
This year, everyone faced challenges, that I know is true. Challenges that were unspoken, or one’s we couldn’t even fathom. But even though the story didn’t go the way we planned, and we weren’t able to live it by the book, we truly learned what made us special in the process. And that made us strong. Each one of you brings something to the table that no one else can, even if you can’t exactly pinpoint it. I’m a true believer that people are put in your life for a reason, whether it be to teach you a lesson or support you unconditionally. I know every one of you has affected my life in some way, shape, or form. And I couldn’t be more grateful for that. Treasure your moments here, the good ones and the bad ones. Because one day you will wake up and realize that this chapter of your life will soon be ending. But you’ll be so incredibly grateful for it in your own story. And one day you’ll look back and tell your great grandkids how you survived high school in a global pandemic and explain to them how this is your story.
Signing off for the last time,
Your Board Chair Extraordinaire