"Some people come into our lives and quietly go.
Some stay for a while
And leave footprints on our hearts
And we are never the same again."
As I prepared this speech, this quote came to mind as I realized how many of you have left footprints on my heart over the past four years. I have may wonderful memories that I will cherish forever. I remember embarrassing moments when a teacher misunderstood what I said, and then my classmates teased me mercilessly. I remember a time in math class when a student fell asleep and was tied to his chair and chalk dust was thrown all over him. I remember teepee wars and dissecting old smelly eyeballs and cute little minks in biology, staying up all night to finish thesis papers, and taking endless flashcard quizzes. I remember when I was in the hospital my friends visited me and cheered me up. I remember crying together when a coach and two of our peers passed away. We have definitely been through a lot together. But tonight is not only a celebration of the end of high school, it is a celebration of the beginning of our future.
Today is the first day of the rest of our lives. Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose. We, the Class of 2006, have chosen "Change The World" as our graduation theme. I think this is the perfect choice for our class, because we will do just that. Our class is very special. We have been leaders in every aspect of our school. Among us are talented athletes, musicians, scholars, artists, actors and actresses. We are skilled in business, family science, agriculture, horticulture, foreign languages, computers, technology, and many other areas. None of us, of course, are good at all of these things, but we are all good at something. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, "Everybody can be great ... because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love." I know almost all of you, and I know how caring, committed and talented our class is. I know that each and every one of us has the potential to succeed and to become great.
I would like to share one of my favorite stories with you. A tourist was walking along a Mexican beach one evening, just before sunset, at low tide. Up ahead he saw a native bend over, pick up...