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Friday, December 4, 2020

2019 KHS Valedictorian Speech

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Olivia Ham is the Kennedale High School Class of 2019 Valedictorian. Olivia is the daughter of Shawn and Debra Ham. She will be attending the University of Texas in Austin in the fall where she plans to major in Computer Science. {{more: continue …}}?

Olivia will

receive the Texas Highest Ranking Graduate Award, whereas she will receive free

tuition for the first two college semesters following high school graduation.

Olivia was a member of the of the 2019 KHS Science and Computer Science teams, both which placed in the top 3 at the UIL State Academic Meet. She also won several awards as cast member of the Kennedale High School UIL One Act Play entre in 2018 and 2019.

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After college, she wants to see parts of the world she has not seen and experience other cultures ? especially the Taj Mahai.
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The following is her address to the Class of 2019 ?

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Wildcats … From here and forever more that title should be stamped on your soul with pride. If you go to college and have another mascot, that?s okay, but there will always be that bit of a wildcat inside of you, whether you like it or not actually.
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Thanks … I?d like to take this opportunity before I continue to thank a couple of people that have been instrumental in my success. Thank you to my mom and dad for believing in me and helping me get through the long nights. From staying up with me when I needed it to turning off my light when I fell asleep with it on, you have always been there as a voice of comfort and reason. I couldn?t have survived without you. Thank you to my brothers, without whom my life would be incredibly boring. Thank you for guiding me, helping me, sharing your interests with me, and just laughing with me. Thank you to my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, those who could be here today and those who couldn?t. All of you have supported in me in my various endeavors and prayed for me when I needed it the most. I can?t thank you enough for that. Thank you to my friends out there. When I was down, you comforted me. When I was happy, you celebrated with me. But most of all you shared your experiences with me and have helped to create some amazing memories. Together as a class, we have supported each other and created bonds that will outlive time itself. Lastly, thank you to all of my teachers for the knowledge you have imparted on me, both for use in and out of the classroom. I shall never forget your impact on my life.
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To the Class of 2019 ???East High is a place where teachers encouraged us to break the status quo and define ourselves as we choose.? Okay, obviously these aren?t my words, but Troy Bolton was onto something in his speech. High school has been a time for learning for us, not just in the classroom, but in ourselves as well. I think I can confidently say that just about everyone in this room would cringe at their junior high selves. We have grown and matured into wonderful young men and women. From here on out, we go out into the real world. Some of us will start jobs very soon and contribute to the work force, some of us will learn a trade that can carry us for the rest of our lives, and some of us will go to more school, though it will be different. We will learn about what we are interested in and what we want to pursue as a career. Regardless, all of us will learn how to function on our own and become beneficial members of society.

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Memories ??As we look forward into the rest of our lives, sometimes it?s nice to take a step back and remember where we came from. As the Class of 2019, we survived through
  • the Silly Band phase and consequent ban
  • the intensive flash mob at Arthur the year they chose to include the students (I know some of y?all still remember the dance)
  • our first musicals, plays, concerts, and sporting events
  • the culture shock of going to the high school and somehow learning how to find our places
  • being placed once again under the leadership of our wonderful junior high principal
  • the bullhorn incident and the auction that followed
  • and my personal favorite, the student who, approximately two years ago, managed to outwit the Wikipedia police and change the motto of our school on Wiki from ?Where everybody is somebody? to ?Where everybody is Cagle? as it remains to this day. Let this be a lesson to those graduating today (and everyone else for that matter), NEVER trust Wikipedia, kids.
Conclusion ??From the drama that we have started and carried on, to the circumstances that we could do nothing about, and to everything that has happened in our own personal lives, we have gone through so much together. It is hard to believe that after today, most of us will never see each other again, except possibly at class reunions. Next year, we?ll be going all over the country to different schools and different places. But no matter what happens, we will always have a certain bond that comes with surviving thirteen years of school together. For as in the famous words of Troy Bolton, ?Once a wildcat, always a wildcat.?
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Note: This is the written version of the speech given at graduation on May 26, 2019.?
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