Salutatorian Casey Sniffin Thanks the Class of 2015 for the Memories

I stand here today as someone who has avoided public speaking like this for

years. (Seriously, I’ve been dreading this moment for weeks.) I’ve never been one to

talk to people I didn’t know too well, especially not hundreds all at once. But me getting

up here to do something I would never usually do is exactly what graduation is all about:

trying new things, getting over fears, and taking every opportunity you can to grow.

For four years, we’ve walked the halls of Centereach High School and grown and

matured together. We’ve made memories that will last a lifetime and formed

relationships that have changed our lives.

We wouldn’t be here today without the teachers and administrators that have

worked hard everyday to make sure we got to this point. To all the teachers in this

school: I thank you, on the behalf of every student here today, for giving us advice,

spending extra time with us to guide us with schoolwork, and being the wonderful, kind,

and giving people you are. To deal with dozens and dozens of teenagers everyday and

somehow still come back the next day is seriously something I can admire.

And to our administrators: I know it can’t be easy to deal with a huge group of

teenagers constantly complain about rules, but you make memorable days like today

possible, and it means the world to us.

High school has never just been about learning to us, and these four years have

been about growing and developing into the people we are today and the adults we’re

going to be soon. Without our parents and families, we couldn’t have made it this far in

one piece. I want to thank my family for having stuck by me through everything that’s

happened throughout my 18 years, and being a lovely and ridiculous group of people. I

love you so deeply, and I’m glad to have you here today.

I also want to give a huge thank you for the incredible close friends I’ve made

here, and I want you guys to know that you’ve helped me through so much, whether you

knew it or not. I love you so much, and I’m thankful for you each and every day.

I want to thank every student here today for shaping my high school career and

providing me with some, well, interesting memories that I will always cherish. We’re a

big group of people, and we may not all have known each other personally, but just

being able to say I knew all of you makes me so grateful. I’m so proud of all of you for

working so hard to be here today, and I know we’re all going to go on to do great things.

There is someone missing here today, and I know that we can all say that we feel

it. Whether we knew Matt personally or not, his struggle has inspired all of us and

brought us closer as a class. I know he’s here with us today, and he too would be proud

of us.

We’ve been preparing for today over 14 years of school, and even then, it

doesn’t really seem real. I can’t even begin to imagine how many tests we’ve taken,

how many hours we’ve spent doing homework, or how many pieces of paper we’ve

used over the years. It seems so strange to think that many of us won’t meet again for a

very long time, and we’re all going on separate paths in life. After years of seeing each

other’s faces every day, everything is about to change.

It’s scary. It’s weird. And yet, there’s nothing we can do about it. Life never stops

evolving and passing us by, and all we can do is enjoy it. Life is going to get hard, and

at times we’ll be too caught up in this responsibility and that one to stop and enjoy it, but

that’ll be the end of us. I really am so proud of all of you, and I wish every single one of

you the best. Thanks for being exactly who you are, I won’t forget you. Thank you.

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