On behalf of the graduating class of 2012, I would like to welcome each of you to the commencement ceremony here today - especially our family and friends, teachers, staff, administrators, and the Board of Education of East Butler High School.

Today marks the culmination of thirteen years of learning and the beginning of a lifetime of lessons yet to be learned. Our class has all come together by way of many different paths. Some walked through the doors of this building as kindergarteners with the eager minds of five year olds. Some joined the class of 2012 when they reached junior high or began high school here. And then six of us began our journey here as high school juniors, wondering what the future held for us. It was a great unknown, but I would like to personally thank the teachers, coaches, Mr. Koontz, and Mr. Ricenbaw for helping make the transition to East Butler a smooth one. I will always be thankful for the warm welcome we received and the lifelong friends we have made. I would also like to thank the community for their support in all of our activities. You have shown us by your example what the characteristics of a good community are.

To the class of 2012, my message to each of you is that “your life will be what you make of it”. That has been the motto that I’ve grown up with. The possibilities are far-reaching, and each of us has the responsibility to use our time and talents to become responsible contributing members of this world we live in. No one can do it for us. Many of us are continuing our formal education by attending colleges, universities or technical schools. Some are joining the work force now and others are proudly serving our country by joining the armed services. We all now move forward with the responsibility of making our communities and our world a better place for future generations.

The famous writer, Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote that “to appreciate beauty, is to find the best in others and to leave the world a bit better. To know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”

It is said that success is measured by the height of your aspirations, the breadth of your vision, and the depth of your convictions. It lies not in how well-known you are, but how well-respected; not in your power to take, but your willingness to give. Success is the small voice you hear within, when you know you have done your best.

I would like to wish my classmates success in the careers that they have chosen to pursue. A special thanks to my parents, and all of our parents, for the unending support we have received over the years – your love, support, and encouragement have been an important part of who we have grown up to be. Good Luck to the Class of 2012. Remember that “your life will be what you make of it.”

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