Whitney Seidel is the valedictorian for the Class of 2013 at Upper Bucks Christian School in Sellersville, Pa.
She was vice president of her class, played volleyball, basketball and soccer all four years of high school. Whitney also led the school Fine Arts program, participating in band and the school play. She won superior honors for her performance on the saxophone.
Whitney achieved high academic honors each year of high school and gained special recognition for her stellar performance on the PSA.
Along with her graduation speech, Whitney composed a poem to commemorate the gradutation at the Upper Bucks Christian School Class of 2013. Both are below:
He was there to watch you color, and learn your ABC’s
He held your hand at recess when you fell and skinned your knees,
He smiled when you finally learned to count from 1 to 10,
And he listened when you learned to pray and said your first “Amen.”
And then as you grew older, and learned about the world,
He was there, watching as new ideas in little minds unfurled,
He watched as you, though still a child, grew and grew and grew,
And he smiled as he remembered, he was once a child too.
As you grew up and then became no longer just a child,
You made new friends, and with them you would talk and laugh and smile,
And as some friendships grew, and then as some would someday end,
He would tell you in his Word that he is your forever friend.
When trials came, and you could not see past the darkening clouds,
He was there to hold you, and make what was lost, found.
He dried your tears and held you close until the storm was passed.
And promised you, no matter what, his love would always last.
And now you’ve reached a milestone, a point of no return,
And looking back, you see the path of everything you’ve learned,
Right now, it’s hard to see the scope of everything God’s planned,
But looking down, you’ll see that God is still holding your hand.
No matter where you go in life, God will stay by your side,
On the pathway that you travel, He will gladly be your guide,
Only listen to his leading so you never go astray,
And learn to love him more as you follow day by day.
Pastor Campbell, Mr. Stolvoort, Dr. Finkbeiner, members of the school board, faculty, staff, parents, family, friends, and honored guests, it is my privilege to represent tonight the 2013 senior class of Upper Bucks Christian School. We are gathered here to celebrate the accomplishments of our class and the completion of this chapter of our lives. We as a class have learned and studied together, laughed and cried together, and grown together physically, emotionally, and spiritually. We would be remiss if we did not acknowledge all the teachers and staff members who have poured their lives into us for the past 13 years. I would also like to thank my parents for their continual sacrifice of time and money to place me in a Christian school. Their faithful guidance and support have shaped me into the person I am today. Finally, I must thank God for his blessing on our lives. God has greatly blessed our school and every one of us have been impacted by His working in this place. Tonight, all glory and honor belong to the Lord.
Graduation is a time of celebration. This night will stand out as a defining moment for the rest of our lives. But after all the excitement and emotion of tonight has worn off, we will be left to face the reality of another “ation” word—not graduation, but separation. The reality of separation is inevitable. Among the twelve of us, we will be attending 10 different colleges in 5 different states. I have no doubt that we will keep in touch, but we will never again be as close as we are now. We will also be separating from our families and our homes. Our lives are about to completely change. In this time of uncertainty, we may feel that our foundations are beginning to slip away. But even in this transition, we have been given a foundation that none of us can be separated from—God’s love. Romans 8:38-39 reads, “I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” No matter how scary the days ahead may seem, no matter how good or bad the decisions we make, no matter how far away we may stray from God in our future years, we have this promise: God’s love is infinite. No matter how separated we may feel from friends or family members, we have this promise: God’s love will never leave us. No matter how large the trials we are called to face, or how difficult the obstacles we must overcome, or how painful the burdens we will someday have to bear, we have this promise: God’s love is bigger than the paths He has called us to walk. This promise of an unfailing love should give each of us hope and confidence when facing the days ahead. This unconditional love should also inspire us to love God and others unconditionally. God’s love should compel us to serve him with our lives and encourage those around us to do the same. No matter where we go or what we do, others should be able to clearly see that our lives have been firmly grounded in the unchanging love of God.
In conclusion, I would like to read a poem, written as a tribute to our class, a final farewell to the school, and an inspiring reminder of God’s blessing, grace, and indescribable love for each and every one of us.