By Zachary Rhine
News and Feature Editor
The end of one’s senior year of high school is a coveted moment in any student’s life. It marks the completion of a thirteen year journey of schooling, and recognizes all of their efforts over those years.
Some students choose to make this occasion even more memorable by delivering a graduation speech at the ceremony. Graduation speeches are student delivered monologues that are directed at that year’s graduating class and are meant to be inspirational.
At Red Lion Area High School, students audition after school in front of a small group of faculty members including principal Mr. Mark Shue and English teacher Dr. Cari Ayala, who is the main orchestrator of the events.
This year there were 15 students that auditioned; a much bigger turnout than previous years, noted Ayala. Students are chosen not solely based on the quality of their speeches, but also their posture, articulation, and overall presentation skills.
“Really successful speeches have a way of almost like weaving a thread idea throughout,” Ayala said. “So like returning to an idea; a focused idea throughout.”
Even though Ayala and the other faculty members enjoyed the majority of the speeches, they still could only choose three in the end. Some complain that all graduation speeches are the same, but even the ones you won’t hear still have unique aspects to them.
“I went back over the years that we’ve had. I talked about the dress, white and gold or black and blue, and other things like Taylor Swift’s funny vine of her falling off of the treadmill,” senior Hayley Altholf said. “Just funny stuff that everybody can relate to. I started with freshman year and just went year by year.”
Some students attempt to be relatable through more of a personal aspect, while others choose to be more comical and give the graduating class a final, good-hearted laugh together.
“My piece I actually wrote essentially as a review of Frankenstein,” senior Billy Jackson said. “Drawing the parallels between the authoring of Frankenstein and our progression into adulthood.”
Students didn’t get to that graduation ceremony on their own; they had numerous friends, family, and teachers that guided them along the way. Senior Mark Peters II hoped to point this fact out with his speech.
“I believe the programs and my teachers actually were the things that really affected me the most,” senior Mark Peters II said, “Such as Mr. Crone, Mr. Wise, Mr. Beatty, Ms. Axe, et cetera.”
The students that will be giving graduation speeches at this year’s ceremony on June 3 are Ian Adler, Olivia Tarman, and Benjamin Wesley.
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