Wise County Messenger

Logan Kehoe

Sautatorian speech

Welcome friends, parents, honored guests, regular guests, teachers, admin and, of course, the Class of 2022.

We celebrate this day by wearing our finest wizard costumes and rectangle hats. Allow me to first say to all of you, congratulations. We have now done that thing required of us by the government and in so doing we are now much less likely to spend the rest of our lives in our parents’ basement.

Think about how far we have come individually, and as a class. Looking back to freshman year, it seems like it was just yesterday there was the first football game, the first class, the first relationship, the second relationship, the third relationship, then figuring out that you were the problem…

Remember in 4th grade how we weren’t allowed to use calculators because our teacher said that no one in the real world would just be carrying one in their pocket all the time, or how we were told to never talk to people on the internet… or get into strangers’ cars.

Well, now we all have a button on our special pocket calculators which summons an Internet stranger specifically so we can get in their car.

We will be entering the real world armed with all the knowledge gained in high school to prepare us for it like the pythagorean theorem, analyzing 18th century poetry, identifying mitochondria, you know, things adults do all the time in their daily lives.

Now before I begin giving this speech I’d like to thank a couple people. First and most importantly,

I want to thank my family. They drove a long way to be here today. A lot of you know my parents and beautiful little baby brother. I just want to say thank you for what you all have done for me, the sacrifices you have made, and all the opportunities you have given me.

I next want to thank my friends, for building me into who I am today. And being by my side every step of the way. Finally I want to say thank you to Bridgeport and the entire staff for dealing with us seniors. I know we didn’t make it easy, that’s for sure. Senioritis kicked in early this year.

I am speaking to all of whom I just thanked when I say that one thing that has become more prevalent as I’ve gotten older, we accomplish very little in life by ourselves. Think about that, we accomplish very little by ourselves. These people in our lives help establish meaning and purpose in our life. We need a meaning to sustain us through the struggles of life. Can life be painful? Yes. Can life bring anxiety? Yes. Can it be uncertain? Always. Life is very difficult. It takes family, it takes friends to get you through the ups and downs.

I am talking to the seniors now when I say this. Don’t burn the bridges that this high school and town has given us, because these people are going to be our foundations for success. These people will always be there for you no matter what.

I know many of you are going to go out into the world and do great things. Don’t forget the people who built you, because those people love you the most, and those people would do whatever they could to help you. This school has brought me into some of my favorite peoples’ lives and I will never forget, and never lose touch with them.

I am truly honored to give this speech, although I feel like there are some very highly intelligent kids we have here that could give an amazing speech, for example Ashley Marshall and our valedictorian, Seguin Hernandez. They are the smartest kids you will ever meet. I look forward to Seguin’s speech, however long it may be.

To be honest, I wasn’t even sure how to give this speech, since I am no better than any of you sitting out there. Why should I give us life advice for which I have not lived? But many of you that know me, and know that I have big dreams, and if I were to say anything to the senior class, it is that big dreams are essential to success. Whatever you define success as, never be afraid to do something at any age or any time and don’t let anyone take that from you. We are entering the best five-year window of our life, where the biggest risk for us would not be taking any. We are not bound by big responsibilities, such as families and big bills to pay. Granted, we will have expenses, but not the same as if we were 45 and have a family. This is the time of our lives to go chase that dream.

Go chase the life you desire because if you fail, if you crash and burn, you have time to pick yourself up again. So go start a business, go become a stock trader, go travel.

Spend your money on knowledge and experiences, not physical things. You are going to look back in 50 years with gray hair, possibly grandkids, and you want to have no regrets. You want to at least try, because I can guarantee that trying will get you closer than you ever thought you could be.

So although I have not lived what our parents call life, I believe this is a new age and we can chase big dreams and goals easier than ever before. A lot of parents out here are going to not like what I am about to say.

Sorry, not sorry.

But with the new age of technology, we cannot fight it. Social media and the internet has allowed us to access an infinite amount of knowledge and connections. We can learn about anything and contact anyone regardless of location and time. We have the biggest key to knowledge and success in our pockets, if we use it right.

Now parents this one is for you. There are also an infinite amount of options to not learn. One look at a high school kid’s TikTok page and you would be scared for life.

One of my favorite quotes is from Tony Robbins.

“We our drowning in information, but we our starving for wisdom.”

It is true that we can sit and scroll through TikTok and learn absolutely nothing while wasting an hour of our life. So we have to be smart with how we use technology because it can break us just as much as it can build us.

I look out at all of y’all and I see potential. You have to see that in yourself first. We are done with test scores and daily grades that define us. We are all the same. High school seniors that are so ready to be done with AP tests and STAAR tests, now we are all about to begin writing our own stories.

Freshman year, we came into this school thinking of how long it would be until we were like the seniors we felt were so much older than us. Then sophomore year, all I can say is, “Thanks, COVID.” I really didn’t want to take that STAAR test. Junior year, I think we realized that we were close and it was just us trying to hang on until senior year. Now we are here, senioritis hit us that first day that we either got to show up late or leave early.

For me, sports have been a huge part of my life ever since Kindergarten. I believe sports provide the greatest life lessons. This year, I played my last meaningful basketball games and rounds of golf and it allowed me to look back on how much sports have influenced me and how much my coaches have taught me in life. I’d like to say a special thank you to Coach Green, Coach Shipley, and Coach Henry. Y’all have been a positive influence in my life and forever will be — even though being on Coach Shipley and Coach Henry’s basketball team has been the closest thing to the military I’ll ever experience.

Then, being on the golf course and in the classroom with Coach Green, the king of double-sided jokes.

I have enjoyed my four years of sports like many of you have.

Class of ‘22, we have been the most resilient class. We have survived COVID-19. We survived the 2020 election. We survived mullets coming back in style.

So before I conclude this speech, I want to say I am very thankful for everyone who has touched my life through my 12 years of school. Let us go out into the world and make our families and friends proud.

So thank you, Class of ‘22. I wish you the best in life and cannot wait to see the accomplishments you all have. I can’t wait to see all the Instagram posts in about five minutes.

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