remarks delivered by Jewels Hatchard '19
Good Morning Families, friends, staff, faculty, underclassmen, and most importantly class of 2019, welcome to my Ted Talk. My name is Jewels Hatchard and today it is my honor to present my class, some of whom I’ve known for six years, others five, four and so on. Now, when I was chosen to be the graduation class speaker I must say that I was really shocked. I had already been in front of the whole school just in September, welcoming everyone into the new year, so I thought to myself, why on earth would they choose me to close the year too? I still don’t know why.
Now, you may be asking yourself, why is this girl at the podium talking about herself like this when she’s supposed to be talking about her class. Well, that’s because I feel that me expressing my utter shock is representative enough of me and also how accepting my class is despite my frazzled response. Now to talk about the class.
There are three main things that summarize my class rather well, and those are that my class is very creative, we are also very impactful and finally we all are compassionate.
The class of 2019 has such a wide range of artistic ability from dancers, to rockers, and visual artists. Through these various forms of art, my class has shown the power of self expression in a unique way to the greater community here. Each person in my class has their own definitive style of dressing and you can see this now as you look at them in their white graduation attire in all different forms. To my class, I know that you guys worked tirelessly to choreograph, compose music, and complete paintings to showcase and I’m so proud of the work that you have all done and I hope that this creativity never leaves you because, let’s be real, creative people make life so much more interesting.
The second thing about my class is how impactful we were, well, are. I’m sure everyone can remember Spearth Day when the seniors sang a history project from 10th grade and when we had an iconic rap duo get everyone on their feet. Warm moments like these are the most memorable to me and these show the fun side of my class that doesn’t always get shown through academics. As I was writing this speech I was laughing over our senior prank which if you haven’t discovered all of them yet you will still find them, years later. We made sure. This class has been impactful in more serious ways as well though. Our class petitioned for the changes in dress code such as allowing hoodies, which then led to the more liberating not dress code policy. Our class also gave the community a range of emotions after the Vesper ceremony. Just two days ago my class thanked and expressed our memories of the school to our friends and teachers and I hope that you all have fond memories with the members of this senior class other than those I listed.
The final thing about the class of 2019 is that we all share the trait of being compassionate. This statement encompasses the other two points and more. The class of 2019 has some of the most compassionate individuals I know, both in their work ethic and other areas. I can think of countless stories of when people stay up late to help their friends out or go out of their way to help someone else and they are so eager and determined to help even if you say no. At the beginning of the year everyone had expressed that they liked their little group and they were excited to get to know the underclassmen. During the tedious IB exams period we all gathered in a room named the panic room to speed study and reassure each other that we were prepared. Now that I’ve talked about how wonderful you all are and have been here at Stoneleigh-Burnham, I want to talk about the hopes that I have for you guys in the future. If you remember my speech from the beginning of the year I talked about not overcooking rice as an analogy for not overworking yourself and so I have another food related analogy.
I hope that in college all of you have some positivity. Although drinking normal tea is nice, positivity is the ultimate kind of tea. I hope that even in rough times you guys will be able to make light of any situation and power through your struggles by turning them into lessons rather than hindrances. When faced with a daunting task or overcoming a fear I hope that you guys will remember that you are capable of handling whatever comes your way. Will Smith once said that the best things in life are on the other side of fear and I hope that you all will take some risks in college and afterward so then you can tell awesome stories at our reunions. So I urge you to remember to have your positivity in college, guys, I hope that you all have many happy experiences in your future.
I also wish that you soon-to-be graduates will continue to be your authentic selves no matter where you go. As I’ve said before, you are all such strong and talented people who are so determined to make changes happen. I want you guys to never forget your individual worth and to stay true to yourselves. I know that you have each inspired me in some way and affected the way that I view myself and for that I thank you and I hope that you will continue to do this. The class of 2019 is amazing, and Stoneleigh-Burnham and I will miss you and so I leave you with the wish of the best as you move onward! Thank you for coming to my Ted Talk!