Senior Class Dinner Speech by Matthew Freire ’13

Editor’s note: These remarks were delivered at the Williston Northampton School’s Senior Dinner on May 10, 2013, by Matthew Freire ’13, senior class president.

Good Evening Everyone,

During our first Senior Dinner we had just come back from summer vacation. We were excited to see our friends, and brag about how awesome each of our breaks was. We were also excited to meet new students, and excited about simply being seniors, being the leaders of our school. At the same time, we were anxious about applying to college and waiting countless days to hear back from them. And now that we’ve been through all that, we can finally take a deep breath and say “We did it.”

And so here we are, months later, at our last Senior Dinner. We only have a couple weeks until graduation, and many of us can’t wait to embark on the next phase our lives. But, at the same time many of us will also miss the treasured memories that we’ve had during our high school careers. The close games we’ve won, the lifelong friends that we have made from around the US and the world, and the unique connections we’ve had with our teachers are all memories that will be embedded in our minds for years to come.

You see, Williston has provided us with so many opportunities to grow as individuals and leaders. Whether you are the captain of an athletic team, a proctor, a club president, or a class officer, Williston has provided us with opportunities to take the initiative and lead by example, and for that we should be thankful. We should also be thankful for the beautiful campus that we can call our second home, the amazing faculty and staff that have been our mentors over the years, and the endless academic, athletic, and extracurricular offerings that have shaped who we are today.

After all, your experiences at Williston are unique in their own ways, and for that we should be thankful. Your class and school have given you so much: Sports, dining, and classes all take tremendous effort on the part of the adults on and off campus, and for that we should also be thankful. You can show your thanks by joining me in participating in our Senior Class Gift Dollar Drive and making your senior gift. We are currently at 68 percent participation in the Senior Class gift—and we need your help to raise our participation in the next two weeks. To make your gift, please give your donation to either Caitlin Berube or myself or bring it to the Advancement Office. Thank you to everyone who has made their gift already, and I would also like to thank Caitlin who has led the Senior Class Gift with me this year.

I would also like to thank our class advisors, Mrs. Cody and Coach K, who have been indispensable in all of our class activities. They worked long days and nights to coordinate various events throughout the year and always reminded us to stay on top of our work at every meeting. I would also like to thank my fellow class officers: Maddy Wise, Caitlin Berube, Zoe Lai, and Ryan Wilkie who were all very cooperative in helping me coordinate various events and fundraisers throughout the year. Finally, I would like to thank both Kelly O’Donnell and Patrick DeNuccio for taking on the responsibility of being our new class representatives. I know that they will do a fine job keeping us up-to-date with various events as we become alumni.

Whether you’ve been at Williston for many years, or just one year, we’ve all had a handful of teachers: some who may have given you a lot of homework and others whom you remember as being really chill. But then there are the teachers whom you are really grateful for.

Mrs. Sawyer has been one of the members of the Williston community that I know many of us are grateful for. She might have torn your paper up in the Writing Center many times. Perhaps she left you really sad, thinking that your paper is an absolute failure the night before it’s due. (Believe me, it’s happened to me.) But she doesn’t do it to make you feel bad; she tears your paper apart to make you a better writer. After countless visits to the Writing Center, Mrs. Sawyer has been one of the teachers that has greatly influenced our writing. Not only would she correct our mistakes, but she would give us advice on how to grab the reader’s attention or make our arguments better. And sure enough, after leaving the writing center with a paper full of red circles and ex’s we knew exactly how rewrite our papers. For being an awesome tutor, writer, and teacher, let’s give a round of applause to Mrs. Sawyer.

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