SARAH SCHWARTZ: Student Council Co-President

For two years of my high school career I had the privilege of representing the students in the Class of 2012. The task was daunting and trying at times. However, my representative role was overall an extremely rewarding experience.

This year I, along with my Co-President Brian Lamy, had the privilege of represent the entire student body which, compared to representing just the 189 students in the Class of 2012, seemed like an enormous responsibility. My plan was to follow the examples of past co-presidents and continue to improve and positively impact the school’s social and academic environments. However, I quickly realized that the role models I would be looking up to, to lead positively and affectively, would be my own peers and classmates — the students in the senior class.

From the very first day of school, Brian and I and the entire administration and faculty saw an immediate change in the school’s climate. Underclassmen and upperclassmen were sitting together at lunch; the Big Brother Big Sister Program continued past Freshmen Orientation; students began filling up bleachers both home and away to support their peers in games, meets, and matches.

However, as I said before, as co-president I represent the entire student body. Thus, Brian and I represent the accomplishments of all of Weston High School’s students, particularly the accomplishments of the Class of 2012 and how we have contributed to transforming Weston High School into an exciting, comfortable, and encouraging place to go to school.

As a whole, the group of students sitting before you have been labeled by their peers and teachers as “motivated,” “passionate,” “outgoing,” “spirited,” “caring,” “impressionable,” “accepting,” and “approachable.” We make up a broad spectrum of passions and talents ranging from agriculture, to theater, to athletics, academics, music, arts, and more.

This year under its impeccable senior leadership, Company, Weston High School’s fine arts program, had one of its most successful years. They sold out the auditorium for their production of Guys and Dolls which the well-known critic Doris Fiotakis called, “their best show in years.”

Many students in the Class of 2012 have demonstrated a passion for music and have dedicated their time and efforts to Weston High School’s music department in the bands, orchestras, choirs. Two students in particular, Josie Harris and Andy Sobelson, were recognized with Outstanding Arts Awards by the Connecticut Association of Schools for their talents in the arts.

Many of the soon-to-be-graduates sitting before you doubled as students and as athletes during their Weston High School careers. Our student athletes represented Weston High School at home and away with the same integrity and tenacity that they demonstrated in the classroom. Some of our seniors played pivotal athletic roles throughout their years at Weston High School.

For example, as a sophomore, Lyle Mitchell contributed one goal to the 2010 Boys Lacrosse State Championship victory and three goals as a senior in to win the 2012 South West Conference Championship. Under the leadership of all seven senior captains, the football team finished their season with the Thanksgiving Day Game victory against our arch rival, Joel Barlow, and as Patriot Division champs. For the second year in a row, the hard work of the Girls Swim and Dive team, under senior captains Charlotte Berger, Carlye Rosen, Julia DiMarco, and Catie Ledwick, paid off, winning back-to-back Class S State Championship titles. Clearly, I could use up all the 90 minutes allotted to this ceremony describing all the accomplishments of all of my classmates.

I am truly excited for us all when I think about what we will accomplish in the future. Come August, many of us will be heading off to colleges all over the country, all over the continent, and all over the world. Some of these students will be entering the work force, attending service academies, and serving our country. You will come to grips with the realities of life sooner than those of us who are headed off to school for another two, four, six, or eight years.

As Weston High School students, we were taught how to decipher the Periodic Table of Elements. We analyzed and assessed the strengths and weaknesses of Napoleon Bonaparte. We learned how to take the derivative of x_+2x. We were taught the differences between affect and effect. Though important, we may someday forget the specific details of some of those lessons. Yet the lessons that will stick, whether we can realize or appreciate them today, are those not as concrete.

Our education in the Weston school system has afforded us the ability to think both independently and critically. Thus far in our lives, we have been provided with the tools and resources necessary to make important decisions regarding our current lives and our futures. However, we have made those types of decisions while being directly and indirectly supported by our teachers and parents. Some of us may choose to be neurosurgeons, while others of us may choose to be plumbers. Some of us may work on Wall Street and then in 10 years decide to produce maple syrup in Vermont. The world needs all of us, whatever niche we choose to fill. However, what is clear is this: High school is not “the be all end all.” Rather, it is the very beginning. This is an exciting time in which we can look into the future and feel as though we have been properly equipped with the right tools to be innovative, independent, critical thinkers in our society. We all have Weston High School, our teachers, administrators, and our parents to thank for that.

Though I hope it is not the case, today may very well be the last time I see some of you. I would like to formally thank you again for making my job as co-president both exciting and easy, and most of all tremendously rewarding. I would like to thank you for enriching my life with your talents and passions. I thank you for your accepting and compassionate nature, and your drive to succeed. Remember that today, this milestone is just that, a milestone, and that our lives and opportunities are just beginning. Like the famous Elle Woods once said, “It is with passion, courage of conviction, and strong sense of self that we take our next steps into the world, remembering that first impressions are not always correct. You must always have faith in people. And most importantly, you must always have faith in yourself.”

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