Good Luck

August 23rd, 2019

turpin h.s. class of 2019The Turpin High School Class of 2019 throws their caps in the air to celebrate their graduation Saturday morning. L&T photo/Elly GrimmELLY GRIMM • Leader & Times


Friends and family were on hand at the Turpin High School football field Saturday morning to wish the Class of 2019 well as it graduated on to its next chapter. 

Faculty and friends alike were also thanked during the valedictory and salutatory speeches, which began with valedictorians Rayna Robinson and Chloe Hendrich. 

“Thank you all so much for being here today to witness this step in our lives,” Robinson said. “I could spend all day thanking the teachers and staff here, and there are a few I want to mention. Mrs. Barnes and Mr. Robinson, you will always be associated with my favorite memories of elementary school, thanks for not getting too mad at our pranks. Mrs. Batt, thank you for introducing me to an organization that changed my life. Mr. Custer, you were my band teacher for only a few years, but you impacted my life more than words can express, even though you always tried to scare us with ghost stories. If you know me at all, you know I’m a sucker for cheesy things, so I’ll leave my classmates with this line from our class song ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough’ – If you need me, call me/ No matter where you are/ No matter how far.’ Thank you all for walking by my side through this memorable journey. You’re my family and I love you all so much. Thank you.”

“Thank you all so much for coming out and supporting us on this monumental day. We’ve been working toward it for a few years now and while it feels like we’ve been in school forever, I can’t fathom how it’s come to an end so quickly,” Hendrich said. “I’ve been dreading my senior year since I was a seventh grader and I’ve written this speech in my head many, many times. With every new version, it always came back to me mentioning the people who have impacted me and made my experiences in Turpin so memorable. I moved to Turpin the summer before my sixth grade year and I’m not exaggerating when I say I cried myself to sleep for months because of everything that had happened. I may be a little biased when I say nowhere will ever be as great as Turpin, but I’m convinced it’s true. As Ms. Peters told me a few days ago, ‘You can have roots and wings.’ I am so incredibly grateful for this community that has encouraged me to fly while providing me with the origins to do so. I am so proud to be from this town and I am so grateful for all the support this community has shown me throughout the years. To the Class of 2019, it’s been an honor growing up with you all. There are big thigs in store and I can’t wait to cheer all of you on along the way. Thank you and God bless.”

The valedictory speeches continued, with the next speeches being given by Litzy Aquino and Alondra Quinones. 

“It means so much to have people by our side to watch us close this chapter in our lives and begin a new one,” Aquino said. “High school was not always easy for me. I had moments when I doubted my abilities to finish a task and questioned whether or not I was smart enough. I am here because I surrounded myself with people who believed in me even when I didn’t believe in myself. To my teachers, thank you for teaching me the necessities I will need to survive this thing called life – without you, I would be lost. To my friends, thank you for understanding me like no one else. Finally, to all my classmates sitting by me today, I wish you the best of luck and congratulations.”

“I am thankful for each and every person who was part of my elementary school and high school experience in Turpin,” Quinones said. “To my teachers, thank you all for the lessons from your respective subjects and the ones that will be of great use in life. To my coaches, thank you for keeping me active and teaching me that with teamwork and determination, I can go the extra mile. To the other staff members, thank you all for caring about all of us students and taking the time to get to know each of us. To my classmates, thank you for making school interesting, I’m so grateful for the memories I have with each of you. And to my family, I will never be able to put into words how much I appreciate everything you’ve done for me. Turpin is the best community I could have grown up in. Thank you all for being part of my world for the past 14 years.”

After some special honors and awards were given out, the last two valedictory speeches were given by Mario Fraire and Micaela Young. 

‘Thank you to family, friends and everyone else attending this memorable event and again, congratulations to the Class of 2019. I’m honored to be able to speak here this morning,” Fraire said. “Today I’ll share a short parable I hope will give direction to the rest of the graduates like it has with me. There is a Native American story about how God went about deciding where to hide the Secret to a Happy Life from humans.  God gathered together his animal advisors.  ‘Where shall I put it?’ he asked the Eagle. The Eagle answered, ‘I shall hide it at the top of the highest mountain.  Man will never find it there.’ God considered this and decided against it.  ‘One day, Man will go there,’ he said.  Next, he asked the Clam.  ‘Where shall I put it, little Clam?’ ‘I will hide it at the bottom of the deepest ocean,’ the Clam answered. This seemed like a better idea, but the Lord hesitated again.  ‘Man will go there too someday,’ he said after some thought. Then, the wise Owl stepped forward.  ‘Though I regretfully cannot take it there myself,’ he intoned, ‘Perhaps you ought to hide the secret on the moon’ After considering this, God finally came to the same conclusion as before: ‘No.  There, too, Man shall go.’ After some period of reflection, the humble Opossum came forward.  “‘Perhaps,” he said, so softly that he could barely be heard, “the secret should be hidden in the heart of Man.’  There was an awed silence among the animals. Finally, the Lord spoke: ‘Yes, cunning Opossum, that will be the last place Man will look.’ So while chasing your wildest desires or changing the world, don’t forget to live a life worth living.”

“I’m honored to be standing before you today. Today, I’ll be following in my family’s footsteps of letting this speech be short and sweet,” Young said. “Im sure by this point, you have heard this from the other valedictorians, so I’ll make this simple: thank you to everyone who has had an impact on my journey here at Turpin High School. It’s truly been an adventure.”

Closing out the speeches Saturday morning was Salutatorian Rene Mendoza. 

“Thank you all for coming to support us on this wonderful day,” Mendoza said. “Thank you teachers, staff and administrators for running this great school, and I also want to take a moment to thank my friends and family. Class of 2019, we made it. We have all come so far and I am proud of each and every one of you. For you younger ones in the audience today, my advice is to always put your education first while still having a good time. Strive for success because if you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never have it. If you don’t ask, the answer will always be no. Don’t forget to have fun – rules are there, work is there, but in the end, happiness is the goal in life. If we spend all of our time trying to be perfect and forget to enjoy the simple things in life, are we truly happy? Never give up on your goals. And when you have troubles, just remember it’s the way you handle those problems that show truly what kind of person you are.”

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