Jeremy Waterkotte and Jacqueline Viens took a different approach to their graduation speech. They did it together, "with an appropriate proportion of humor and sincerity," as promised in their application to be selected to speak.
Both are recognized as outstanding students in their class. Jeremy is one of three graduating seniors who gave speeches this year during commencement for Unionville High School in Kennett Square, Pa.
Jeremy was Captain of the tennis team and an editor of the school newspaper.
He will attend Haverford College in the fall where he hopes to study Economics.
Jacqueline grew up in Singapore. During high school, wrote "Susie and Penny," a children's book available on Amazon. Proceeds benefit Caring for Cambodia.
She will attend Boston University in the fall to study Communications.
Here is their speech to the Class of 2013:
Good Morning, I’m Jackie Viens.
And I’m Jeremy Waterkotte.
And we’re honored to be standing before you today speaking on behalf of the class of 2013.
This would not be possible without the support of our classmates, faculty, administration, school board, parents, and friends. We are a class of athletes and mathletes,
Artists and musicians,
Innovators and leaders,
Beliebers and ex-Jonas Brother’s fans.
In all seriousness, there are classmates among us who are nationally ranked composers, state champion athletes, record breakers
Along with record breakers we have cassette crushers, CD stompers, and iPod shatterers
Anyway, we also have nationally ranked scientific researchers, ivy leaguers, and we even saw one of our own complete the saltine challenge.
In addition, Jackie and I are part of a think tank to figure out what to call that awkward moment right before you sneeze. And while these are the contributions our class has made to UHS, they only reflect the school’s most gracious gift to us-the faculty.
They are our teachers, our mentors, our inspirations, and uniquely, our friends. Together, the study body and the faculty as a whole are what make Unionville’s atmosphere so conducive to success.
It is because of this special relationship that Unionville consistently ranks among the top educational institutions in the state.
Our school even shines outside of its rigorous curriculum.
Every day, when we walk into the school, it is hard to miss the many examples of our student’s widespread involvement.
From our first couple steps into the lobby, we see beautiful works of student art on display. Also lining the halls are posters advocating student involvement in UHS clubs and community activities.
Sweet symphonic music echoes down from the auditorium, as the aroma of freshly baked cookies wafts up from the Family Consumer Science hallway.
In some display cases, laser etched wood projects hang proudly.
And in others, dozens of beautiful trophies glimmer.
All the while, students chat enthusiastically in the hallway, sometimes in many different languages thanks to our international students and language programs.
Unionville’s engaging atmosphere cannot be captured by state test scores
But, if it was, we would stand head and shoulders above the other high-achieving schools in the state.
Some of the most valuable things we’ve learned from out quality education are the lessons like,
Always reach for the stars,
Unless you’re building an auditorium, cause that’s a zoning infraction
& the early bird gets the worm
That way you don’t end up parking @ middle school.
And in times of conflict, we’ve always been taught that the pen is stronger than the sword
However the pen is not stronger than the light saber, common misconception,
On the other hand, there are some lessons we may not bring into the real world
Like how to differentiate between different species of dinosaurs
How to jump out of the back of a bus
How to write in cursive
And how to identify the antecedent; Class of 2013, as we go forward, we encourage you to recognize what a Unionville education has given us
Not only a strong educational background, but incomparable ethical and interpersonal skills
These are the skills that will allow us to excel and achieve greatness after UHS
And although there is a world outside of high school, we encourage you not to lock it in the past, but rather, use it as a strong foundation for your future
So parents, as we move on to the next stages of our lives and we are packing our suitcases, please, please encourage us to leave YOLO @ home. But do ask us to be safe and have fun.
As physicist Richard G. Scott once said:
"We become what we want to
be by consistently being what
we want to become each day"
And congratulations class of 2013