Michael McClosky is the student speaker for St. Elizabeth High School's 2013 commencement ceremony.
In addition to serving as President for the school's Student Leadership Group, Michael is a part of National Honor Society, the Jefferson Award Committee, Academic Bowl, Math League, TEAMS, and the football team.
He is a peer tutor, peer mentor, Science Olympiad, Viking Ambassador, and has achieved 150 service hours.
Michael is a resident of Newark, Delaware and a parishioner of Our Lady of Fatima Church. He will attend The University of Delaware in the fall.
Good evening. My name is Michael McClosky. It is an honor for me to be able to speak on behalf of the class of 2013. I would like to begin by thanking God and the many people who have encouraged us and nurtured us over the years, those who helped us to grow during our time at St. Elizabeth. Specifically, I would like to thank the administrators, Father Carroll, Mrs. Bounds, Mrs. Mangan, Mr. John Forrester, Mr. Jeremy Forester, and Mr. Haney along with all of the other members of the faculty and staff of St. Elizabeth. In addition, I would also like to thank Dr. DeAngelo and Bishop Malooly, for without their support and leadership, this institution that we have called our home for four years would not flourish. Lastly, I would like to thank our parents, family, and friends for being the most influential people in our lives, standing beside us through the challenges and successes and for putting up with us for so long.
Robert Louis Stevenson once wrote, “We must accept life for what it actually is - a challenge to our quality without which we should never know of what stuff we are made, or grow to our full stature.” We, the class of 2013, individually and collectively have indeed been tested in a variety of ways over the past four years, in ways that none of us expected when we entered in the fall of 2009, a time which now seems like ages ago. As a class, we have struggled and succeeded through the rigors of schoolwork and the social aspects of adolescence. As a class we have mourned the loss of loved ones, and, as a class we have helped fight cancer with one of our own.
Though there have been many tough times and roadblocks over the past four years, these very same events (along with other opportunities) have given rise to some of the most memorable experiences we have shared. Who could forget the day Joe Farrell returned to school to a standing ovation at Monday morning assembly? Who could forget the cheers of “VK Nation” that erupted from gold stands at the Bob Carpenter Center? On a personal note, I know I will always remember the time when my youngest sister was hospitalized for a major surgery and the school community’s response during this difficult time. A day after I informed the school, I received a card in the mail signed by every teacher and administrator to express their concerns and prayers. These memories I have mentioned were born through challenge and difficulty. Facing them, as Stevenson said, would show us what stuff we were made of. Embodying the Benedictine dignity of work and utilizing the values inculcated in us throughout our years at St. Elizabeth, our class has embraced these challenges and many others which I could not possibly describe within the brevity of this short speech.
Even after we hang up our caps and gowns and attend our first college lecture, the accomplishments and precedents that we have set in our time here will remain. All of us have the desire to keep the memories of ourselves alive within St. Elizabeth, so much so that we placed emphasis on it in our mission statement. I remember, vividly, Leadership Night this past August, where a group of seniors struggled to put together the few sentences that would define our final year. The closing line of that mission statement charged us to leave an indelible mark on St. Elizabeth, and we have, but St. Elizabeth has taught us that this is not enough.
After tonight, when we are permanently pushed from the boundaries of Broom, Cedar, Banning, and South Rodney, we are charged with a new challenge, a new responsibility that slightly abridges the closing words of our class mission statement. Instead of striving to make our mark on St. Elizabeth, we must now extend ourselves and use the values and knowledge that have been presented to us to benefit our communities and the world as a whole. What these efforts and actions will entail is uncertain, but one thing is known for sure, there will be challenges. Regardless of the obstacles that may attempt to impede our progress, the indelible mark that St. Elizabeth has left on us will encourage us to embrace any difficulty that comes our way. We will use these challenges as sources of inspiration and personal growth and we will grow to our full stature just as we have learned to do during our time here at St. Elizabeth High School.
Again, thank you, and congratulations to everyone in the class of 2013.