55th Annual Commencement featuring the Graduating Class of 2016

To steal a line from Southeast Elementary Principal Tammie Hall: “Today was a good day”. Congratulations to the Southeast Class of 2016. Good luck to each of you. You will be missed.

Senior Address – presented by Primoris Camrin Sellers, with Erin Horgan

Mr. Miner, Board of Education, faculty, family, friends, and the class of 2016, thank you all for being here to support us on this special day.

Today is both an ending and a beginning. Today ends the same routine we’ve held for the past four years and the memories that have been made. Today is a new beginning filled with big dreams for the future. In May of 2012, we were all gathered here for a similar reason, we were celebrating as the first OFFICIAL class to graduate from Southeast Junior High. We were all anticipating our high school years and the memories we would make. And now in a flash here we are, four short years later graduating as the Southeast High School class of 2016.

In four years because of the variety of opportunities that have been provided for us, we have been able to find our own niche, and succeed at each one of them. Whether it be business, agriculture, technology, art, music, debate, FACS, or the medical field, we are so lucky to have had the teachers that are willing to invest their time and effort into us and make sure that we achieve the goals they know we are capable of.

Our Lancer Pride not only shows through in academics, but in athletics as well. Those of us who have been fortunate enough to wear SOUTHEAST on our uniforms as members of the football, volleyball, cross country, basketball, wrestling, cheerleading, baseball, softball, or track teams know what it’s like to be able to represent our school with pride and win or lose, always be proud to be a Lancer.

There were the times we buckled down and worked hard, but there have also been many times with so much fun. Homecomings, proms, pep rallies, sporting events, or school trips have all been times for us to put down our books and enjoy our time with each other.

Academically or athletically, whatever we have been involved in throughout high school, those opportunities have prepared to take the next step. Whether it is a 2-year college, 4-year university, the military, or the work force, we can be assured that Southeast has readied us for what lies ahead.

Not only have our teachers helped us achieve our goals, but where would we be without Mrs. Coots and Mr. Malle? The Class of 2016 was the first class to be with them all four years of high school. We have had four years to continuously annoy them and steal mints from their offices. We appreciate you more than you know and a HUGE thank you for putting up with us and helping guide us in the right direction.

There is a picture that hangs over my desk at home that has the five w’s of life that is my go-to for inspiration when I need it. I thought it was a coincidence because of the thousand times I’ve heard the same terminology used in English class. Who, What, When, Where, and Why

WHO: Who you are is what makes you special. Being who you are is far more important than being who others expect you to be.

WHAT: What lies ahead will always be a mystery so live each day to its outmost potential and be thankful for everything you have. Don’t be afraid to explore what’s out there. I don’t want you to look back in 30 years and be disappointed of the things you didn’t do, so chase your dreams, take risks, and never be afraid of failure because that itself is just an experience.

WHEN: When life pushes you over, push back harder. The road that lies ahead won’t be easy. You’re going to go through lots of rainstorms, but the rainbow in the end will make it all worth it. I want you all to meet life’s challenges straight on with your head held high and your mind wide open.

WHERE: Where there are choices to make, make the one that best suits your interests. Let you choices reflect your hopes and not your fears.

WHY: Why things happen will never be certain so take it in stride and move forward. Always remember that life goes on. Sometimes you’re going to have to take a deep breath, pick yourself up, and dust yourself off, and always know that it’s completely aright.

As Newton Baker says, “I hope your dreams take you to the edge of your smiles, to the highest of your hopes, to the windows of your opportunities, and to the most special places your heart will ever know.” I hope you continuously set goals, strive for excellence in every task, have faith in yourself, and work hard to make it happen. My favorite quote by Arthur Ward reads “If you can imagine it, you can achieve it; If you can dream it, you can become it”.

Everyday for the past four years, we have all been walking the same halls together, going to the same classes together, and doing the same activities together. But once we throw our caps in the air, we will all be headed in different directions. We will walk our own paths, but will always have the amazing memories of the great things we have shared over our four years together.

Once a Lancer, always a Lancer.  Southeast High School class of 2016, thank you for four great years, now go out and keep DOING GREAT THINGS.

Senior Address – presented by Proximus Olivia Sullivan, with Adam Martini

Today marks the ending of childhood and the beginning of adulthood.  Websters’s Dictionary defines “commencement” as “the time when something begins.”  I’d like us to focus on this graduation, not as an ending, but as a beginning of the next stage of our lives.

We haven’t reached this point on our own.  I’d like to take time to thank everybody that made today possible.  Thank you to Superintendent Mr. Miner and the USD 247 School Board of Education.  Thank  you to all of the administration, staff and teachers.  A special thank you to all the family and friends in attendance today.

I think every Senior can agree with me that none of this would have been possible without our Mom’s and Dad’s.  Please give them a round of applause.

The journey to this point hasn’t always been smooth sailing, but that’s what makes it memorable.  The Southeast Class of 2016 is filled with ambition and diligent individuals.  As a class, this isn’t the first new beginning we have faced.  Just five years ago we were scared 8th graders coming together in one place.  That was a drastic change that affected each of our lives.  Coming together as a class had a profound effect on us.  It made us closer to one another and unified us as a group.

As we entered high school, we tried new things and each of us found our niche.  New opportunities were all around us, from clubs and organizations, to sports.  Now, my classmates, look at what you have achieved.  You have learned teamwork and dedication through sports.  You have learned new skills and expanded your knowledge through classes.  You have experienced new opportunities through organizations.  You are National Qualifiers in Debate & Forensics, TSA, FBLA and FCCLA.  You have won honors in Band & Choir.  You have won academic honors.  You hive signed letters to continue playing sports at the collegiate level.  You have jobs lined up after you graduate.  You are furthering your education.  We are beginning the next stage of our lives.

But today isn’t just about reflecting on the past – it’s about looking forward to the future.  We will all be leaving here and heading in separate directions, beginning the next chapter of our own lives.  Yes, this may be the last time some of us ever see each other, but we can’t let that be seen as a negative.  For some, high school will be the peak of their lives, but it is my hope that for all of the graduates leaving here today, it is just another step completed in this journey.

Some of you know him from “The Hangover” – Ed Helms once said “Don’t be afraid of fear, because it sharpens you, it challenges you, it makes you stronger; and when you run away from fear, you also run away from the opportunity to be your best possible self.”

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