Ghidotti Early College High School seniors celebrate 2019
Editor’s note: Following is Avery Kornoelje’s 2019 Ghidotti Early College High School graduation speech. She is Ghidotti’s senior class president.
1,386 days ago, we walked on to Ghidotti Early College High School’s campus right where we are tonight, the bell tower. We have looked forward to this day, Graduation day, since day 1, but before we actually walk the stage behind me I want to give you insight on how we got here.
Let’s begin at the part where everyone looks back and cringes- freshman year. We were fresh meat that year, fresh haircuts, new clothes, new backpacks with our school Chromebooks. We avoided the treacherous “back of the cafe”, and stayed in our safe haven of the front tables or the quad, for who only knew what could happen if we interacted with the Sierra College students. We would sit there until the time for our favorite class rolled around: biology.
The most daunting class that was sure to say “welcome to Ghidotti”. It kicked us into high gear and was probably the downfall of most of our GPAs. But we learned a few things from those hundreds of power points: mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell and the beauteous DNA song that would remind us that all DNA is made of nucleotides with sugar, phosphate, and a base bonded down the side, yet DNA is different in each one of us.
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Our class is made up of athletes, novelists, mathematicians, musicians, poets, artists, engineers, and filmmakers, and I think that is a pretty incredible testament to our diversity as a class. And of course, We learned the photosynthesis equation 6CO2 + 6H2O + sunlight converts to C6H12O6 + 6O2. I have yet to use it in real life, but Mr. Kirwan assures me it will come in handy at any party. Needless to say, you all survived Kirwan not only once but twice and for that I want to say congratulations.
Sophomore year, we became a little more comfortable, we moved a little farther back in the cafe, walked with our heads a little higher, we knew where classes were, we knew some upperclassmen, but most importantly we weren’t freshman- we finally felt like high schoolers. The number one factor in that was the gradual appearance of keys on lanyards around our necks or in our pockets. You could tell who were the new drivers because there would be a car parked practically diagonal.
This was most likely because the student was running late and the most prized first row of parking was full, and we had to run to class. But Ghidotti has always been a little different than most schools, we weren’t primarily consumed with who had the newest car, best clothes, or the most friends, but grades. Grades were the worst because they are quantifiable. It was heartbreaking when a student slaved away reading hundreds and hundreds of pages of the English literature Ms. Mason assigned and came out of the test with a C versus the student who barely touched the book came out with a B.
But the person who learned the most was the one who went from a 70 percent to a 85 percent not the person who went from 93 to a 98. Learning has to do with desire, curiosity, and effort. For you are not less worthy than someone else for how far ahead they are, but rather look back on your own path and see how far you have come.
Junior year — when we had no idea what was coming. We thought of ourselves as upperclassmen, but we were juggling a lot. As college courses became heavier, our personal lives started becoming busier- you could spot a junior two ways: the bags under their eyes or the amount of bags on their backs. In the middle of frantically searching for our dream college, writing endless timed essays, and counting down the days till we had to take the dreaded SAT test, we were hit with the CASSPP state testing.
I think Mr. Bishop hated it more then we did because we would always forget headphones for the sound check, the Chromebooks one by one would make this horrendous chiming sound that would cause Mr. Bishop to pull out all the hair he had left. We all would complain, but that got us nowhere. There are going to be many times when life get difficult, and then even more difficult, but your just going to have to deal with it. And in the end, it paid off — did it not? Based on our CAASPP scores, we were ranked number 1 in the state of California all because of our begrudgingly hard work.
Senior year, the end was in sight, and we felt like the top dogs. We started with the senior sunrise. Up in arms, we complained because we had to get to school 30 minutes earlier than we usually do. Bundles up in blankets, eating 6 boxes of donuts we watched the sun not rise, but rather just hide behind a blanket of clouds, but we did not let that be a representation of our senior year. Although the light in our eyes have dimmed throughout the years, do not let that fool you from how far we have come.
While all my classmates sit in the back corner of the classroom farthest away from the teacher, I, in the front, have personally sat in my desk proud of my class. In government, Mrs. Crisosto asked us to write a paper in one period about our opinion on the electoral college. Without hesitation, the clicking of the our keyboards filled the room. From our years of training, MLA format and Bing Bang Bongo has become our second language. We knew how to whip out an A+ paper in no time.
Another example was a couple weeks ago, when Mrs. Mason said to our phoenix class “You have 5 minutes to decide the topic of your final senior board presentation.” This time we did hesitate, but that did not slow the clock down. At the end of 5 minutes, each one of us had pretty reasonable idea, and, last week, we all did a wonderful job presenting our boards. Regardless of any time crunch we are given, our class is bound to create incredible things.
So here we are, sitting literally minutes away from putting an end to this chapter of our lives. We have all sat through those yearly meeting with Mrs. Hurt-Crabb and Ms. Wilhite who helped us chose what we will do this fall, but we must not only continue with our path in mind but continue fervently with purpose. For Anatole France said, “To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe”.
And I believe in you class of 2019. Not only in your academic success, but in the livelihood of your character and personality which is why I would like to end by singing a song that particularly displays our class’ character, “Country road” Class would you please join me “country road, take me home, to the place where I belong, West Virginia mountain mama take me home country road.”
Congratulations to the class of 2019, thank you.
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