The Strongsville High School Class of 2012 will gather at Wolstein Center Sunday for commencement ceremonies.
The event starts at 1 p.m.
Speaking will be:
Shriya Srinivasan: Phi Beta Kappa
Brian Herrmann: Student Council President
Shannon Djilas: Class President
A rundown of the program:
Class officers are Shannon Djilas, Senior Class President; Sarah Stalder, Vice President; Erica Toth, Secretary; and Jarrod Nadzan, Treasurer.
Phi Beta Kappa recipient: Shriya Srinivasan
Class Colors: Black & Green
Flower: Venus Flytrap
Motto: You Wish You Were One Too
Class Mascot: Pikachu
Class Song: 2012
At right, you'll find a list of students graduating with honors.
Here is the commencement address by Brian Herrmann, Student Council president:
A MATTER OF PERSPECTIVE
First, I would like to thank Mr. Steffen, Mrs. Turner, and all of the great teachers and staff at Strongsville High that have helped us on our journey. Without their help, we would not have received the splendid educational opportunities we were blessed with. These people don’t just teach us a textbook; they teach us their philosophy and influence us with their perspective. Perspective is a very, very important attribute to have at your disposal. It shapes the way you see the world, its problems and its wonders, and affects how you will react to its challenges.
As a man was driving home from work one day, he stopped to watch a local Little League baseball game that was being played in a park near his home. As he sat down behind the bench on the first-base line, he asked one of the boys what the score was. “We’re behind 14 to nothing,” he answered with a smile. “Really,” the man said. “I have to say you don’t look very discouraged.” “Discouraged?” the boy asked with a puzzled look on his face. “Why should we be discouraged? We haven’t yet been up to bat.”
He was not discouraged, and nor were we. We were not afraid of opportunity when we were freshmen. We are still not! But, although we as a class still seek great things, we have changed. We have grown. We are not the same people as we were when we first stepped through those front doors on freshman orientation 1383 days ago. We have gained a new perspective through our experiences.
Just like the young boy believed that his team was destined for great things, looking back, I think I can say the same thing about our class. We entered with a spirit. I remember hearing about it from teachers since elementary school. We were the largest class at that time. By the time we entered fifth grade, it became apparent that we were a very musically talented class. Through middle school and entering high school, our athletic prowess was impressive. In high school, our class, we current seniors, have led our women’s soccer team to become state champions. Our other athletic teams have had victorious records and many of our students have been recruited by universities. We sent outstanding marketing students to DECA international competition in Salt Lake City to compete. The class of 2012 was an integral part of our symphony orchestra which toured Chicago and even played at Carnegie Hall, an accomplishment few ever hope to achieve. Our bands, orchestras, and choirs have all earned superior ratings at state contest through the leadership and skill of members of our class. Our artists’ skill, artistic sense, and hard work have brought themselves numerous accolades and painted the school some of our best murals. Our mighty class of 2012 has completed thousands of hours of community service between Key Club, National Honors Society, and other organizations. Our test scores last year have brought us into the top ten percent of high schools ranked by U.S. News and World Report!
Perspective is a funny thing. It is shaped by our experiences, of which we have many. Most of those mentioned were shared. But even though we shared many of our accomplishments, each of us has a different view of the world. We can never entirely understand another’s circumstances: his motivation, his dreams. Not unless we have walked some of his path with him, stood where he stood, and heard what he heard.
As people, we tend to like others who make room for our perspective, those who are able to accept it and respect it. Our friends are those who understand our perspective and even match some small part of it with a “me too!” Because our class has had so many shared memories, so many friendships, and so many accomplishments over which to connect, we have earned a description which is rarely used to describe a class. We - are kind.
Our perspective is, as a group, one of compassion and determination.
We are a class of individuals; most of us bonded through accomplishment and high standards. Some of us are very wise. We are able to accept from and assimilate many differing perspectives and see the common theme.
Most of us are going off to college. But we have to remember that college does not make you educated. Life, experience, interaction with others, especially those very much different than you, travel, all make you more educated. Listening to a professor read from an art book doesn't educate you. Going to an art museum to find out what you find appealing and what you don't will educate you. Your sociology teacher will give you his perspective. Working in a soup kitchen or sharing a meal with someone on the wrong side of the tracks will give you your own perspective.
I urge you all to go boldly into your future with an open mind. Have an outline, but do not make a concrete plan. You will most likely change it anyway. You have to know what you want and get it, just like we did to win soccer states, just like we did to have to earn a superior rating at contest. But do not tie yourself to a plan. By doing so, you may lose the spontaneous opportunities that change your life and outlook forever. Make your life more interesting and relish the unexpected. By doing so, your perspective will undoubtedly change and become more understanding.
Everything really is a simple matter of perspective. Every clash, conflict, agreement, and accord is based upon similar or opposing viewpoints on the world. How you see the great world and her opportunities around you is the product of your experiences. The experiences you choose to seize will form you into who you are meant to be.
In the words of an anonymous poet:
Perspective is what we are, is what we see…
what we see and how much we are willing to see, impacts all that we can be…
our choices, our experiences, all that our life holds.
I can proudly say, through the scores of accomplishments of our kind and mighty class, that we are the class of 2012 and we are finally up at bat.