2014 Salutatorian Zachary Gurian - Graduation Speech

Guest post by Waldwick High School 2014 Salutatorian Zachary Gurian.  Zachary will be attending University of Michigan in the fall.  He plans to study Mechanical Engineering at Michigan. 

Welcome everyone to the Class of 2014 Waldwick High School Graduation. I would first like to thank Dr. Raupers, Members of the board of education, Mr. Carroll, Mr. Clancy, faculty, honored guests, parents, family and friends for being here on this special occasion. This is a special moment for all of us because it marks a great transition in our lives-- a transition to paying an arm and a leg for school.

Since we have entered high school we have been looking forward to this day, looking forward to not having homework every night and a break in the monotony that has been school for the past 12 years.

I’d like to give  thanks to all my peers and friends that have helped me along the way in high school. It’s not always the things that you learn, but the people you learn with.

I’d also like to thank my teachers who have helped me along the way. I especially want to thank my physics teacher Dr. Ling. Through your class, not only was I prepared for the AP test at the end of the year, but I felt like I had gained a better understanding for how the world works around me. Your advice and reassurance about college has been invaluable to me.

And to all of the parents, I can’t thank you enough. For supporting us despite our bad attitudes and being there for us despite our constant requests and needs and of course for coming out to all of our band concerts and soccer games, our back-to-school nights and our art festivals.

Also to my own parents, mom, you’ve always been there with encouragement and a positive attitude. And dad, you’ve always been there to give advice, and cause trouble at the dinner table.

Many of us have been saying for years how we want to leave this town, yet so many people who have grown up in Waldwick come back. Why? Because the small town of Waldwick is so great because of how small and tight knit it is.

Most of us started our education in Julia A Traphagen Elementary or Crescent Elementary school. In 6th grade,  we came to Middle School and have been together as a grade since then. Many schools come together in Middle School and high school from 5, 6, even 7 elementary schools, but not Waldwick. We are a small class and because of that, we all know each other and are able to have connections that are impossible in big schools. Only in a small school like Waldwick can it be normal to call each other by crazy nicknames such as Boose and Boar and to have it normal to poke fun at each other when we misspeak on simple things and know that it is all in good fun.

Throughout High School, the WHS community has just grown closer. I see the benefits of this small community every day as I walk down the halls. It’s not uncommon to see two people from two entirely different social circles having a conversation and acting like lifelong friends. Why do we act like lifelong friends? Because we have been lifelong friends. Over the years we have had the opportunity to know each other so well and despite our differences, we are able to come together and just be nice to each other. We’ve been on the same soccer teams since kindergarten and have been together throughout all of our school in events in middle school like Field Days and science fairs up until our senior activities this year like the Fashion Show and the Senior Barbeque. We may make fun of each other or poke fun at things, but it’s all in good fun and that environment is fantastic for growing up and really becoming prepared for what’s ahead.

So, to the Waldwick High School class of 2014, appreciate what you have had here in Waldwick. No where else will we find as great as a place to grow up in as Waldwick. No where else will we find such a great  environment to mature and make lifetime connections. No where else will we find such a great community that comes together to become something greater than a small suburban town in New Jersey. No where else will we find Warrior Nation.
Thank you.