Bishop Bruskewitz, Faculty, Staff, Family and Friends of Bishop Neumann,
On behalf of the class of 2012, welcome and thank you for the wonderful gift of our Catholic education. When I was brainstorming ideas of what to say in this speech, the first thing that came to my mind, though it may be a little cliché, was the quote “life’s not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away”. Our class has definitely had our fair share of memorable moments.
It all began with our first day at Neumann. I don’t think any of us could catch our breath as we walked in the door and saw how big Neumann was compared to St. John’s or St. Wenceslaus, but with a little guidance from Mrs. Johnson and the other junior high teachers, we started to adapt. I think my classmates would agree, that one of the most memorable moments of seventh grade was when we wrote letters to our future senior selves. Even when we were seventh graders, we all had high hopes for ourselves; Derek Sabatka’s seventh grade self wishfully stated, “I hope by now, you have a girlfriend.”
As junior high turned into high school, we reached another breath-taking step in life… High school sports. We were afraid of waking up every morning at 5:00, that awful stench coming from the boys’ locker room and of course two-a-days. I don’t think any of the girls who went out for track our freshman year will ever forget the day Melanie Blum broke a hurdle. We all held our breath as Mr. Gerdes reprimanded Melanie for quite some time before finally saying those two magic words, APRIL FOOLS! With the help of great leadership amongst upperclassmen and the strong support from coaches and the community, we made it through.
Another milestone in high school that probably left our parents worried sick, was the day each of us got our driver’s license. I’d like to thank everyone in this gym now for your patience with our driving skills, I’m sure they still aren’t quite up to par.
Then came prom, the moment every girl dreams of and every boy’s mother makes them suffer through. Regardless of our feelings towards prom, I think it’s safe to say, we all clean up pretty darn well. With the food so perfectly prepared and served by our parents and the fun and games at post prom, we all had a fabulous night full of great memories.
For quite a few of us, prom was followed by an amazing trip to London. Some of the greatest moments in London included, playing soccer in the park, watching Brian May of Queen play guitar for the ninth anniversary of We Will Rock You, enjoying some delicious Galaxy chocolate and of course, Danielle Hittle tripping over a large block of cement as she excitedly pointed out the subway station. Although we may have gotten a little out of control at times, with the help of Mr. Rezac and our fabulous parent chaperones, we all managed to safely make it home.
Finally, senior year arrived. We were all so excited when we were dismissed first at all school mass as seniors! The glory of being seniors also came with finally having your last name on the back of your football jersey, giving speeches at pep-rallies, being just a little bit on the rebellious side due to senioritis and testing our limits with a small marker fight in our white school shirts.
Now we are holding our breath one last time as we sit in front of you all today and present what we have accomplished. God has blest us each with many talents and gifts for which we are eternally grateful. As Father Kane would say, we are finally ‘pruned’ and ready to show the world the beauty our branches bear. As we all look forward to the next moments in our life that will forever leave a mark on us, we will never forget the moments we have shared together within the Bishop Neumann community.