Page 10 THE SAUGUS ADVOCATE – FriDAy, JUnE 7, 2024 2024 Saugus High School graduation The Valedictorian Address By Sarah Dorielan H ello, distinguished guests, faculty, family, and my fellow graduates, I’m Sarah Dorielan and thank you for coming together to wholeheartedly celebrate the achievements of the class of 2024. I’ve heard that the greatest speeches are the shortest, so I’ll try to make this quick in the hopes that we can graduate sooner. Before I begin, I’d like to thank the overworked and underappreciated teachers, counselors, administration, general faculty, and the community members that made it possible for us to receive an education at this school. The amount of dedication and guidance you have given us has helped shape us into the individuals we have begun to be. While your work is far from over, advocating for future classes, we appreciate what you have done for us. Everybody has a story, and this chapter has come to a close on May 31th, 2024. These four — well, maybe three — years have been deeply important to our development. Our story begins to intertwine with one another on a bright screen looking at each other’s initials. There was no outline for how our freshmen year went. The task of navigating a learning experience no one else has had exemplifies the resilience our class embodies right at the beginning of our high school careers. That year went by quicker than we could close our computers, and a new chapter of high school began as we collectively struggled through chemistry and a lack of English teachers for the two years prior. Junior year was characterized by it being the first true year of high school not dictated by the pandemic, and it went by quickly. I would say it was the most memorable, but all I recall is rushing to figure out what the SATs stood for, the first failed physics test, the second failed physics test, and so on and so forth. After somehow making it through, senior year went by even quicker than the last, and I never truly realized that this year was over until I was writing up until the last day of school, losing sleep over this speech. The first few chapters of our lives have been written for us by our parents and our teachers, by our mentors and our environments. Now the day has come where we’re entering the first chapters of adulthood, and it is up to us to construct our futures. And I’m looking at my classmates, wrapped up in red and gold, and I see so many different perspectives that will help change the world. I see business ownI’d like to take a moment to NUMBER ONE STUDENT: Sarah Dorielan finished as the top scholastically ranked student in the Class of 2024, earning the honor of being the class Valedictorian. (Saugus Advocate photo by Mark E. Vogler) ers, physicians, nurses, engineers, politicians, writers, veterinarians, artists, athletes, and the list goes on. There will be people who will try to deny the choices we make in our lives, so we must be purposeful in the way we define our truths and the way we write our story. There are no more bells, no more teachers directing us, so our narrative is directly controlled by what we believe, what we do, and where we want to end up. In order to pursue our goals and daydreams, we must pick up our pens and write ourselves with passion, perseverance, and kindness. Creating a version of ourselves that is ever-changing is complex and comes with its challenges and rewards, but this new era we are entering is a perfect time to learn. Evolving into who we are meant to be is a journey that might take us the rest of our lives, but that is everything we have in front of us. Although I had thanked the administration and faculty beforehand, I would also like to thank two other groups in my life: acknowledge my parents. Their persistence is a major part in my excellence as one of, if not The first Black female valedictorians at Saugus High School. Metaphorically, parents move mountains for their children, and my parents have literally moved countries to provide for me in ways that I could never fully comprehend. There are not enough words to completely thank them for the work they’ve done, so I will say I love you instead. Finally, I’d like to thank the students that I am graduating with for allowing me to be a part in your story — whether it was a short sentence like a passing compliment in the halls or a paragraph as we’ve gotten closer... or maybe you’re hearing me talk for the first time today — it has been an honor to know you and grow with you. Do not let anyone stop you from writing how your story goes. Let your world, the audience of your story, know who you are, and let our individualism become the way we differentiate ourselves in this large universe. There can be no comparison between what you will accomplish in the future and what the person next to you... or... even two rows behind you will do. So as newly-formed authors of your narrative, class of 2024... it’s time for your words to be heard. Thank you so much. 2024 Saugus High School graduation The Salutatorian Address By Gabriella Huber W e’ve all said for the past 4 years how much we can’t wait to leave, and be out on our own. Now that the time is actually here it seems like we have this great path of uncertainty that lies ahead. Soon we will be facing reality and having more responsibility than we have ever imagined. I don’t know what our futures hold, but I wish all of you the best of luck in your endeavors. We’ve grown up together, stressed over exams, SATs, and just life in general, and watched each other form the personalities and characters we have today. A lot has happened over these past four years. There were so many major life decisions and changes that rested on our shoulders – and so many stressors that didn’t help in making those decisions. We were stressing about what we needed to get done, and when it needed to be done, in order to “succeed” in the future. After all those deadlines, essays, and tests, just know that it was all worth it. No matter where you end up, whether that be college, military, career, or a gap year, remember that everything happens for a reason and it will all work out in the end. I believe happiness is in the eye of the beholder, and there will always be something to find happiness in, whether it be in our day-today lives or something we will get to experience in the NUMBER TWO STUDENT: Gabriella Huber finished as the second highest scholastically ranked student in the Class of 2024, earning the honor of being the class Salutatorian at last Friday’s 153nd Commencement Exercises at Saugus High School. (Saugus Advocate photo by Mark E. Vogler) future. Taking notice of all that gives us joy is a much better way to live than focusing on the negatives. Keep in mind – you should never let anyone make you feel inferior because of something that makes you happy. “If you let people’s perception of you dictate your behavior, you will never grow as a person. But if you leave yourself open to experience despite what others think, then you will learn and grow.” With that being said, failure is a part of life, but looking past the setbacks and moving forward is crucial to your success. One failure doesn’t define the rest of our lives, it doesn’t even define our day. NUMBER TWO STUDENT | SEE PAGE 11

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