2013 Valedictorian Mayumi Skorski - Graduation Speech

Guest post by the Waldwick High School 2013 ValedictorianMayumi Skorski.   Mayumi will be attending Duke University in the fall.  She will be majoring in International Business.

Good evening Dr Raupers, members of the board of education, Mr. Carroll, Mr.Clancy, faculty, family and friends.  As in any speech I would like to start off with a few thank yous.  Thank you grandpa, grandpa, and grandpa only because he told me he would give me $100 each time I mention his name.  That’s  $300 right there and I haven’t even really started yet. 
In talking to my mom about the end of high school, she told me how in Japan each class plants a tree for their graduation.   They are able to come back to the tree years later and think nostalgically about their times in school, the memories they shared together and how they have grown, together and as individuals.  That made me think about our time in Waldwick in terms of a tree. 
Like roots on a tree, when we first came to the elementary schools we were all separated.  Some started here in Waldwick in 2001 as we entered Kindergarten at Crescent or Traphagen and others came from different towns, but all from separate paths.  Here we made our first best friend as we played tag, house, and rocketship.  This is where the strong foundation, the roots, were laid for each of us.
         As we moved onto middle and high school we became the trunk of the tree, united as one, bonded together.  Middle school may have been rough with braces, awkward pictures and mismatching outfits, but we made it through to high school.
         In high school we became even closer with the special bond we created. When you walk down our hallways there’s an atmosphere you can’t find at many other schools, and it’s not just that you can never find an open bathroom.   I constantly find myself waving and trying to throw fives at everyone I see.  That special bond, as unbreakable as a tree trunk, will keep us connected as we move on away from our trunk and branch out into the world.
          As each tree has its own unique characteristics, our class is no different.
One thing that I’ll certainly miss about our class is the sense of humor.  You’re not going to be able find another school that thinks the same way we do.  No one else calls each other by their mom’s first names.  No one else points out voice cracks or calls people soft and crepes.  We have the Waldwick connection, that special Waldwick humor. 
         Then there’s Warrior Nation.  We helped to start it and make it what it is today.  Warrior Nation will not be the same without having the voice of Jessey Michaels leading us in chants at every game.  Throughout these past four years the Class of 2013 has certainly left our mark in ways that other classes only dreamed about.  We brought home state sectional titles in all sports including boys’ soccer, girls’ soccer, baseball, and even basketball.  Not to mention our most important victory --winning powder puff two years in a row of course.  Not just winning but shutting out the other team.  Our hard work has certainly paid off in ways that will forever be ingrained in Waldwick high school history.   
         Not only have we left an impact on Waldwick High school history, but also in Mr. Carroll’s heart.  Whether it’s Andrew Livanos on Wake Up Waldwick, getting phone calls at midnight, or trying to throw playpen balls in the hallway, we’ve always seemed to keep Mr. Carroll “on the hop”.  So thanks Mr.Carroll for allowing us all to still walk in graduation even though there were times you wish you didn’t.  And don’t worry, in the future we will make Waldwick proud and #makeithappen.
Just as we experienced some great memories throughout our high school career, we’ve also had our share of hardships.  Throughout high school our tree has faced many storms and has lost some of its branches.  Jenny Collentine, Sean Fisher, and Kaitlin Joyce live on in our memories and our hearts as we honor them today at our graduation.  We will never forget the memories, the laughs, the tears, and the smiles that we have shared with each one of them. 
As we move onto college, we bring our mini fridges, our oversized tvs, and of course, our memories.  It all started freshman year where we had ridiculous projects like the 20 page religion paper and we can’t forget the tackling of Santa, also known as Mike Sciortino.  Sophomore year brought the beginnings of Warrior Nation and the Waldwick CSA garden.  Junior year came around and we had our first prom and then senior year we became even closer through times at Seaside, the fashion show, and the talent show.  Not only have we bonded with each other, but also with our teachers.  I’ll miss being in a French class with only six people and imitating Madame’s mannerisms.  I’ll miss Mrs. Wolf’s fascinating stories and learning the meat and potatoes.  I’ll miss hearing about the incredibly close class votes with Mr. Noschese.  As much as I will miss all of these things, I’ll never forget. 
I’d like to thank all of you who sit here today for making my high school experiences the best of my life.  I feel so blessed that I have gotten to know each and everyone of you.  “True friends are hard to find, difficult to leave, and impossible to forget”. 
We’ve grown together as one like a trunk of a tree but as we reach the end we become the branches.  All of the branches go in their own direction.  Each has it’s own path, but they all touch the sky and reach for the stars.  Some of us are eager others a little anxious, but as my grandpa told me “Skorski’s don’t get nervous, they get excited.”  Don’t be nervous about the future, but be excited.  And remember as we leave here we all serve as the face of Waldwick High School and you know it’s not that easy, just ask our very own athlete of the week Zack Neugebauer.  We leave here proud representing Waldwick not just as another group of alumni, but as people who will leave a mark on our world.  We go out into the world with our ambitious and determined mindset where they aren’t any limits as we head in one direction: towards success.  No matter where you may end up never forget your roots here in Waldwick; stay grounded to your foundation like the roots of a tree.       
And, as we look back to our roots and look forward towards the stars, let’s also remember to live now.  Let’s enjoy the last moments and memories we have together.  Let’s end our senior year the way we end our weekends: by living the dream.  Thank you class of 2013 for being the most memorable and wonderful class anyone could ask for.  I’ll miss everyone one of you, but I’ll never forget.
And one more thing, thanks grandpa that's $500 for me!