"This acceptance and respect that students have for one another at Arlington High is what I believe to be one of the greatest aspects of our school"
Gabby Newell, StudentCouncil president
Good afternoon administrators, faculty, family, friends, and class of 2012
I can still remember when we toured Arlington High School as eighth graders. As we walked into the school, not only was the size of the building overwhelming, but the size of the high school students as well. After a year of being the oldest at Ottoson Middle School suddenly we were so small, but in groups we felt comfortable. High schoolers showed us around the school from the cafeteria, to Mr. Kraus’s room, to the pit and brought us to an actual high school class.
Then the bell rang, and suddenly students began bustling throughout the corridors. This chaos left my group clustered together in an unrecognizable hallway. Our tour guide was no longer guiding us. We were lost.
After a while, my group and I began roaming the hallways chatting and laughing until we forgot we didn’t know where we were going and felt comfortable walking the halls on our own. After wandering Arlington High for a while, our group caught up with the rest of our grade. At first, my group mates and I were a little embarrassed, but looking back now I realize that getting lost along the way to our final destination was a fun experience with friends. We had one another, we laughed with one another, and we helped one another along the way. Once we started high school getting lost in the building was the least of our concerns.
Throughout a typical day at Arlington High, I have seen students help one another memorize monologues for Drama class, edit one another’s essays, and tie one another’s bow ties on dress up days. These acts may seem small, but are actually huge because they motivate us to carry on through the more difficult aspects of high school.
Many people here today know that I am not the most artistic person. As some may remember, freshman year when my art teacher, Mr. Moore, asked me what color red and green make I replied, "Christmas." Now I will never forget that they make brown.
While I was unaware of colors, I was keenly aware of others' talent in that Art 1 class. I was a bit intimidated and thought to myself that there was no way I could ever complete all of the projects in the class.
Still, my classmates encouraged me to continue my pieces. After a few weeks of working, I realized that the passion for art in the room was extraordinary. And I learned that if such talented students had faith in me, then I could have faith in my own ability as an artist. With the acceptance of some of the most advanced artists and art teacher in the school, I gained the confidence to continue taking art classes for two more years.
This acceptance and respect that students have for one another at Arlington High is what I believe to be one of the greatest aspects of our school.
It allows people to bond with one another. At school we have all seen a sports team wearing their jerseys, classmates wearing shirts they made together, and even a group of friends wearing construction worker’s outfits.
Last year, to build more school spirit, our grade decided to have a community service day. Students signed up to take part in activities such as cleaning, painting, and planting. On this day we all worked with people we did not necessarily see every day.
Yet, after helping one another sweep floors or dig up grass to plant a tree, we developed a bond. The efforts of our work have strengthened ponder pride and our friendships. The support that the class of 2012 has provided one another is most evident this year. Students have sported "Ponder Pride" T-shirts, visited the spring art show, attended the school’s production of "The Pajama Game" and cheered on the boys' basketball team in the tournament.
This community that Arlington High School has built through friendships and cooperation has allowed us students to excel and has brought us to this moment of celebration right now.
Let us remember the friends we have made in Arlington and also seek new friendships in our future endeavors. Let us look forward to becoming involved in extracurricular activities and make an effort to build strong relationships with peers because friends have supported us even at our worst, and have been with us when we are at our best.
As we move on next year we will face the unknown. But now we have the confidence our friends helped us build to go off to a new place on our own. Thank you faculty, administration, and family for all of your support. Thank you, Gracie James for enlightening us with your talent and beautiful words. We know you are here with us today.
And finally, congratulations class of 2012!
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