Medina Journal-Register — According to Medina High School Valedictorian Casidhe Holland, Friday night’s Medina High School graduation ceremony was the first step on a long journey.
“From here on out we start the rest of our lives,” she said. “I don’t believe there will ever again be a time in our lives when we have this much promise, this much opportunity to become more of what we want to be.”
Holland spoke to a packed Snyder Auditorium at MHS as she was among 136 graduates to receive a diploma.
Salutatorian William Barber also addressed the crowd, and he too spoke of opportunity, albeit in the past tense.
Alluding to his grades, Barber said, “For all the time I spent chasing perfection, even though my heart wasn’t in it, i could have been doing things i love to do.
“There are people up here on this stage that are already better at their future careers than any of the esteemed top 10 will be by the time our four expensive years of college are over,” he added. “And there are people who had some of the best years of their lives while us scholars slogged through piles of homework and hated every second of it.
“But in the end, it’s hard to say who’s right.”
While Barber alluded to maybe doing some things differently if given the chance, Holland said the choices made and moments experienced help mold each person into who they are as they enter the world.
In sharing her favorite quote, she said, “Mostly we don’t remember the days, we remember the moments.”
Moments, spent either with the whole class or with one’s closest friends, are the moments that “made us who we are, so take them with you,” she added.
The class speakers also spoke of change in a lighthearted way. Barber recalled how the class of 2012 has been followed by change. He said when the class was in second grade, a playground was built at Towne School, but the class left before it could enjoy it. Then in fifth grade, something similar happened at Oak Orchard.
“And tonight we get to enjoy this wonderful new sound and light system for the first and only time,” he added to a laughing crowd.
Holland, meanwhile, spoke of changes yet to come in each other’s lives. Whether going to work or going to college, change is coming. She pointed to her shoes and joked that her sore feet were her mom’s fault, because her mom failed to tell her 6-inch heels were not a practical choice.
Now, though, bad purchases can no longer be blamed on other people. This also brought a nice chuckle from those in attendance.
Medina Superintendent Jeffery Evoy also addressed the class. A resident of the community for 20 years, Evoy said Friday’s graduation was special for him since it was not only his first as the district’s chief, but also because he had the opportunity to hand a diploma to his son.
Evoy encouraged the Class of 2012 to give extra effort, because just one degree can make a tremendous difference.
“At 211 degrees, water is very hot,” he said. “At 212 degrees, it boils.” The changing properties of water can be used as a metaphor for life, he said.
“One extra degree of effort that you can apply in life may be the difference in your success and ultimate happiness,” said Evoy. “There is no substitute for hard work.”
Since most people work for most of their lives, Evoy’s final message was simple:
“Don’t let anyone dictate your future for you. Find your passion and do what you love.”