2020 Valedictory Address

Victoria Blackman, Class of 2020

Fellow students, parents, teachers, and administrators: thank you for celebrating the graduation of the class of 2020 with us.  This has been a remarkable and crazy time with a pandemic that turned everyone’s world upside down.  

I would especially like to thank administrators who worked tirelessly in the office so we could learn. Also, teachers thank you for inspiring learning and going above and beyond to invest in our lives. You kept us awake in class, and held us responsible for our learning by not allowing us to be “ T-A-R-D-Y”. Thank you to parents and family for believing in us and loving us unconditionally. It is because of all of you that we are here today to say “we did it”. 

To the class of 2020. This year has been uncertain and difficult. What began as a fresh new year was commandeered by the novel coronavirus. Fear is rampant and we journeyed through the uncharted territory of online learning. Despite these challenges, we are here as conquers and victors over high school. 

Over the last four years, we have been prepared to succeed in the world. We have survived Ms.V’s challenging history quizzes, learned to defend the faith in Bible, equipped with discernment over logic in Rhetoric, grown in our writing skills with Mrs. Burley, and were reminded that sleep is still vital to our life. 

Many of us know exactly where and what we want to do and some of us are uncertain. No matter where each one may go, or what each person may do, we need to stop and remember something vital before we go out into the world: to rely on Christ. 

I am sure many are fearful and uncertain about the state of the world with coronavirus restrictions, politics, and finances on top of the already stressful decision of what we want to do with our lives. Despite all these challenges, there is hope. I am sorry Mr. Holst, but I am going to share your “favorite” verse: Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” This verse was written in the time when Israel was taken away as captives to Babylon. The Lord was telling His people that there is still hope; it is all a part of His plan and He is still with them. Sometimes we are placed in difficult situations, but God can use them in our lives to refine us, and strengthen our relationship with Him. Jeremiah then continues the Lord’s message to say, “Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” God promises to be with us always and hear our prayers: to be our refuge when we are afraid, to be our light, leading us in the darkness.  We have a rock and “A mighty fortress is our God.” 

Annie Johnson Flint once wrote a poem that beautifully illustrates this idea:

 “God hath not promised skies always blue, 

Flower strewn pathways all the way through; 

God hath not promised sun without rain,

  Joy without sorrow, peace without pain.

But God hath promised strength for the day, 

Rest for the labor, light for the way, 

Grace for the trials, help from above, 

Unfailing sympathy, undying love.”

Graduates, as we leave today and venture into the world, remember this essential truth. The future may look uncertain, but it is bright and filled with amazing things that we could never imagine. Do not be afraid to work hard, follow your dreams, and rely on Christ. Let’s be the catalyst to change the world for the better. 

Congratulations! Class of 2020!

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