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Column: 'We did it!" A 13-year journey comes to a close

By Lucrecia Ramos, DIstrict 518

Editor’s note: The following is a graduation speech delivered by graduating Worthington High School senior Lucrecia Ramos during the May 24 WHS commencement ceremony.

Good evening Mr. Landgaard and school board members, Mr. Noble and Mr. Hastings, teachers, family and friends, and fellow graduates. My name is Lucrecia Ramos, and it is a great honor and pleasure to be here on behalf of my peers for this significant and memorable moment of graduation that recognizes the Class of 2019. We thank all of our families, friends and staff who have taken some of their precious time to come and be a part of what will be an unforgettable occasion. We have all contributed in making this ceremony the best it could possibly be.

When we think of time, we usually think of hours, minutes and seconds. If we were to think deeper, we’d realize that time is also made up of special shared moments we call memories. Thirteen years ago, and in the years along the way, a group of strangers came together to eventually form the Class of 2019. We didn’t know who many of our classmates were, but now, without realizing it, we’ve formed a large, beautiful family. Each year of our education, more faces became familiar, laughs were shared, accomplishments were celebrated and mistakes were corrected; all of these have formed part of the memory we’ve created together.

When we entered our elementary school, we looked up high at the long road we were about to take. Each day, we would pick up our unicorn or Spiderman backpacks to wait for the bus in hopes of getting the back seat; we knew how cool it was to jump up high whenever we passed the famous bump on the road to school. Once we got into our classrooms — which became like our second home — we would sit at the same spots. We would open up our desks as if it were a treasure box full of neatly organized school supplies, although for others it was a big box full of crumpled papers. We would sing “Old McDonald Had A Farm” at the top of our lungs.We struggled at what 2+2 was and where the United States was located on the map. Celebrations such as Valentine’s Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, birthdays etc. were the biggest deals for us as well. All of a sudden, we entered middle school.

Once we were in middle school, we were halfway through our expedition. We began to change both physically and mentally. We finally had our own lockers although, at first, some of us struggled to open them — some still do. Classrooms became louder and we watched small papers fly across — best known as “passing notes”. We now had a mix of our grade members about which we started to learn a little more. Classes became a bit more challenging, not to mention the mile run and the Pacer tests in gym. On the other hand, we were also recognized for our hard work as a team and as individuals. Four years passed by as we came closer and closer to where we are now seated.

Upon entering our Worthington High School, we entered the final steps of our long mission. The fear of not knowing what’s going on or where certain places were located in school slowly faded away as we progressed. Each of us worked on our strengths and improved our weaknesses in order to discover who we truly are and where we want to be in the future. Fortunately, we had supportive teachers and staff who guided us the best they could by taking some of their valuable time to prepare and deliver their lessons for the benefit of our education. By balancing school work, extracurricular activities and even jobs, we are now seeing the results. The wait is over, we’ve reached the end of this stage; graduation is here.

Today is the culmination of a very important part of our lives. We have grown from our childhood and adolescence and are entering the adult world. With our commitment, perseverance, confidence and discipline, we’ve discovered directions to many opportunities that await us. We can now look back at the long road we’ve gone through at this stage of our lives. With our education, we’ve received the key that will open many doors. We thank God and everyone who has made this moment possible. Thank you to all the teachers and staff who worked together to provide us with what we needed. We certainly won’t forget you, WHS, and hope you won’t forget us as well. Thank you, and congratulations to the graduating Class of 2019. We did it!