Miller School of Albemarle

Class of 2011 Graduation!!

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To view a slide show go HERE. Or, view more photos and the video, download them or even get them printed at our new Smug Mug site HERE.

VALEDICTORIAN ESSAY BY SHUO SUN

Good Morning

First I’d like to thank our Chinese and Korean guests in their languages;

首先,我谨代表Miller School全体师生欢迎并感谢各位家长亲临我们的毕业典礼。同时,感谢您们对我们由始至终的帮助及鼓励。正是有了您们的支持,我们才会获得留洋海外的机会,从而使我们离我们的梦想更近了一步。

Now, in Korean,

모든 학부모님들, 환영합니다. 이렇게 저희들의 졸업식에 참가 해 주셔서 감사합니다. 항상 멀리에서도 응원해주셔서 감사합니다. 그 응원과함께, 저희는 더 많은 기회와 함께 저희 꿈을 향해 한 발짝 나아갈 수 있게되었습니다.

(mo dn /hak bu mo nim dl,/ hwan young hab ni da. E rot gae/ jeo he dl eh / jol up sik eh/ cham ga hae/ ju sheo seo/ gam sa hab ni da. /Hang sang/ meole ehso do/ eung won hae ju sheo seo/ gam sa hab ni da./ gh/ eung won gwa ham ggae,/ jeo he nen/ duh/ man en/ gi hwae wa /ham ggae/ jeo he/ ggum el/ hyang hae/ han /bal jjak /na ah gal /su /it gae deh ut sp ni da.)

The Class of 2011 is so special compared to others because we may be the most diverse class ever. Eleven of us are from China, six of us are from Korea, and one of us is from Saudi Arabia. The person who stands here now giving you this speech is also special because, among all the valedictorians through hundreds of years in Miller history, this person may speak the worst English.

I assume you may question whether such a particularly unique class is able to achieve success. The answer is an overwhelming yes.

As international students, we are ambitious; we never stop one second as we pursue our goals; but we are also dependent, and sometimes weak and homesick. We are willing to enter a brand new environment; but meanwhile, we are also afraid that this environment is too exclusive for us to be a part of. Nevertheless, no anxiety is necessary at Miller.

Everyone puts great effort into helping us improve our language ability; but also, Miller is more like a family rather than a normal high school. In this new family, we are not nostalgic, isolated or lonely any longer; instead, we build up beautiful relationships which reach far beyond our expectations.

With this thought in mind, I received this text right after I got a rejection letter from Cornell University, from my best friend, whom I depended upon more than anyone else.

“This is just a night before the dawn…Don’t long for today’s sunset, for it was too dark for you to see. But expect to see the sun rise in a brighter light tomorrow.”

At Miller, as a part of this sweet family, each of us deserves each other. Although we are graduating, our best memories will not fade away, our relationships will contribute to our future routes, and our dependence will undoubtedly be the keys to our faith as we construct our new lives.

Again, a great thanks to our parents, for making the decision to send us to Miller School, for being our steadfast supporters every single second, and for every vigorous and determined attempt you exerted to assist us in accomplishing our goals.

Grand thanks is also due to the faculty, for being with us, supporting us and encouraging us. Thanks for your patience, diligence, and attention.  You taught us a great deal of knowledge, and imparted, elucidated and enlightened the paths to pursue in our lives.

Last but not least, let’s express thanks for each other, and for this sweet family we built up together. Remember the two crazy days we all spent in DC? Remember the prank night we all flipped over the entire school? Remember the essay we had to do for English class even though it was almost the end of the year? Remember Jo’s speech at Senior Dinner which made us all feel bitter sweet?

One of my friends said to me, “Your presence affected my life, but one thing which far more deeply affected my life is your absence.” Eventually, appears the inevitable moment of our leaving; let us look at each other one more time. Let’s take this second to engrave these figures who played significant roles in our lives and who may become the most familiar strangers after today.

Let’s pray that each other’s futures will be happy and fulfilled without us accompanying each other. Lastly, let’s cheer that our memories of each other will definitely become one of the most beautiful parts of our souls.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

SALUTATORY ESSAY BY GRACE DAWSON

To the class of 2011, I offer my congratulations. Here we are this May morning, graduating at last. We have been anticipating this day for the past four years, some of us longer. It has been quite a ride from scared little freshman to confident young men and women getting ready to go out into the world.

Though the journey to this day has been different for each of us, one part is the same, and that part is Miller School. Miller has been just one of many stepping stones in each of our lives, but it is one that we share. Miller has influenced us each differently, and some more than others. Miller means a different thing to each and every one of us. To some it has been a home, and has held a family. To some it has been a learning ground for life much more than academia. But I think that for each of us, in some way, it has been more than just a school, more than just a requirement, more than just a routine.

When asked what makes Miller extraordinary and unique, people always talk about how special the community is. The repetition of this may make it seem less true, but for me, and for my classmates, the community that surrounds us has been one part of Miller we will never forget. We have had the honor of learning form teachers who know us, and who care for us; who treat us like adults when we earn their respect; who look us in the eye, and who eagerly great us each fall with hugs and smiles. I would not want to be a part of any other community; I could not have asked for more.

When we look back at the time we have spent at Miller, it seems to have gone so fast. How can it possibly be more than just the other day that I was driving up the front entrance, and setting eyes on the Bell Tower, and Old Main, for the very first time.

I can still remember the first day that I came to Miller. It was an open-house during the late winter of my eighth grade year. I did not really know much about Miller at that point, and I didn’t even know for sure that I wanted to attend. I was of course impressed, and I admit a little intimidated, by the grandeur of these beautiful old buildings. The campus though, was not what first struck me. The first thing about Miller that really made an impression on me was the smell. I know that sounds a little odd, but as I walked up the stairs just inside the portico, counting each step as I went, I inhaled deeply, and I remember that smell vividly. It was a smell of wood, and age; not a musty crumbling smell like one that might be expected in Gormenghast Castle, but a smell of history and magic more reminiscent of a place such as Hogwarts.

The class of 2011 is a historic class in many ways. Amongst our ranks stand the very last of the Miller devils. With the graduation of this senior class goes a little bit of Miller history. Though we are the last of the devils, in the class of 2011 also stand some of the first true Miller Mavericks. We are the first graduating class to have been freshman as Mavericks, gone all the way through as Mavericks, and we are proud our identity.

We are the first senior class to have Mr. France as our Headmaster. We are so lucky to have had Mr. France as our headmaster. He is a caring, and hardworking individual, the equal of whom we would be hard pressed to find. He has helped us to stay close, and really be one with our community here. I hope that as we move on we will still be able to stick together and take care of each other in one way or another. I can say with certainty, that we are all glad to have spent this year with Mr. France leading our school. The future of Miller School is sure to be full of success and joyful “Mondays” with Mr. France as Headmaster.

We have so many memories from this year and the years before to look back on that will remind us of Miller and our time spent within these halls.

Last winter we were held captive with an inordinate amount of snow. Some were trapped here at Miller, some were held up in airports, trapped in limbo amidst their travels, still others stuck at home without power or any possible way to escape. Eventually the plows reached all the back roads, and we were able to reach home, or in some cases escape home. Fortunately nobody was hurt, we all survived the snow, and can brag today that we were there; we witnessed it; we experienced it together.

Eventually though, the snow melted, the flowers bloomed, and we all moved on. Now it’s that time of year again, and we are truly moving on. We are moving on to summer, to college, and to the rest of our lives.

Perhaps one day we will come back to Miller, and when we do, it will welcome us back like an old friend. It might not look exactly the same, or smell exactly the same, or house all of the same people; but no matter what, we know that we can come back to a place that will always be familiar, no matter how long we stay away.

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Written by Miller School of Albemarle

June 2, 2011 at 2:49 PM

Posted in Posts

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