VALEDICTORIAN SPEECH by Joseph Iovescu, Class of 2014
A family, that’s what I believe this class is. We quarrel. We laugh. We fight. We rejoice. We go through valleys and over mountaintops. But we find a way to get through our problems together, as a group of determined individuals fighting for a final goal.
I remember at the beginning of the year, I was really excited to go to high school. It was new. It was different. It was fresh. It was something we had never done before. I believe our entire class is ready to go to high school. The thing is, now, I don’t know what I’ll do without them.
How can I go to school without Alexis’ random questions? How can I go to school without Charlotte paying for everyone’s every need? How can I go to school without Albert and Katie bickering like an old, married couple, even though Albert is technically engaged to Charlotte? How can I go to school without Alex’s stupid, inappropriate jokes? Well, I can live without that one.
I believe that we will get through life. We’ll make new friends. We’ll have other things to laugh about. We’ll come through. But now is the time when our paths part - some of us in one direction, some in another, and others by ourselves.
I remember in 6th grade, our class was very segregated. We divided ourselves into a hierarchy, sometimes not to our liking. The boys never hung out with the girls. There were the Minecraft addicts and the so-called “cool” kids. But now, in just a measly two years, we’ve broken down those walls. We can now look each other in the eye as equals and individuals instead of stereotyping to a group.
Probably another very important part of our education here at St. John’s was the teachers. I mean, they are the ones that taught us everything, right? But they weren’t just teachers. They were our friends and our coaches, the people that put their heart and soul into teaching us. They weren’t like a machine, taking in our class and spitting us out as educated people. Instead, they took the time with us, connecting with us, mentally and spiritually, sculpting us into mature, young adults.
I’ve only been here for three years, but we had plenty of teachers in that short span. I just want to thank each one of them for something important or special they did for me and my class. To Mrs. Borrasso, for putting up with us when we sometimes acted like brats, completely out of hand, which happened quite often in 6th grade. To Mr. Benedict, for personally teaching me to love and appreciate writing. To Miss K, for showing us that even though you may be tough on us, it’s really for our own good. To Mrs. Uffenbeck, for pushing us, even when we thought we had given it our all. To Mr. Markworth, for making us do a majority of his manual labor. And to Miss Bahr, for always being there for us in our tribulations and in our joy.
Last but not least, to our parents. They were the ones that paid for our education. They were the ones that pushed us to do better. They were the ones that raised us, that cared for us, that loved us. We all love our parents, and I thank each parent for everything they have done.
Even though we’re leaving each other, we’re leaving as family. I will always remember the people in the Class of 2014, every single one of these crazy 12 people in front of me, and all these wonderful teachers. C. S. Lewis once said, “Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art… it has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival.” These people aren’t just my classmates and my teachers. They are my friends. They are my family.
I’m sorry I’m leaving these marvelous people here at St. John’s, but the future is waiting. This isn’t the end. It’s just the beginning. I wish you all the best of luck, and may God bless you all.