Valedictorian speech, my 50th piece in 2017

Greetings fellow grade 6’s, teachers and parents. My name is Finn Darlington and welcome to the year 6 graduation for 2017. I just want to say that primary school has been an extraordinary journey and I know that I speak for all the students when I say that we could not ask for a better school to be in.

I and every other grade 6 here today have changed so much since we first got here in prep. At first we were small 6 year old preps who were timid and shy, now we are big, strong and courageous and are willing to do what is right no matter what.

There has also been a lot of challenges that have made us the people we are today, from the humongous storm and mosquito invasion of camp Currambine, to our first school concert when we were just grade 1’s. There has also been some things that we have loved through school, such as the multiple excursions we have been on: the aquarium, science works, IMAX and many more. There were also special visits from police, firemen, Helicopters, and there was that special Harry potter week we did for book week when we were in grade 4.

We have also made some mistakes and regrets in our time here. For example when I was in prep I went to the wrong classroom and then lied about it, but when my teachers found out I got in pretty big trouble. Another mistake I made happened just this year when me and my grade 5 partner Ryan had to present a project we were working on but I had to go home because I was sick so Ryan had to do the presentation by himself, which made me feel really bad. Theses mistakes may not have made me very happy but it built my character and I learnt from it. So a word of advice, whenever you make a mistake you should follow these steps: own it, apologise sincerely, fix it, learn from it, let the bad feelings go and give someone a hug.

We have also made some really good achievements. For example every time I have run for SRC rep of my class in my time I have always got it, which I’m really proud of but I stayed humble and didn’t brag about it. Another thing I’m immensely proud of is that I made it into the short list for school captain, I may have lost the position to Charlie but he still did a great job, well done Charlie. I am very proud of these achievements and I hope it’s inspired others to push their limits as well.

We have made friends here that we will keep for the rest of our lives, and I will treasure the memories I have had with my friends for eternity. I also need to thank them for helping me along the way, Charlie Rolfe for always making feel better when I’m down, Indigo Johnson for assisting me well through class and Ziggy Christofides for building my character by jumping out at me from behind the door over and over ….. and over again. These people made me who I am today, thanks guys.

All of my fellow graduates are incredibly talented and I’m 100% sure that every last one of us will grow up to do some incredible things. I believe that Ty when he grows up is going to give Usain Bolt a run for his money, I’m confident that Nicholas will grow up to be a master of technology, and I’m a billion percent convinced that Ryan is going to grow up to be a super funny guy, trust me I’ve heard him shout enough “what are those” to know that he has one whopper of a personality.

I just don’t have my fellow class mates to thank I also have to thank all my teachers through the seven years I have been her from my prep teacher Nicole to my Grade 6 teacher Ant and everyone in between Andrea, Dave and Jude who has now retired but we all remember her strong heart and dark humour and she is going to remain in our hearts forever.

The teachers have all taught us so much, it’s hard to believe that they may never teach us again. I also would like to say good job to the teachers for not just teaching all of us almost everything we know, but the way you taught us was just outstanding. You were strict on us to help get knowledge stuck in our heads but you all also made the learning really fun. In prep you let us relax after a long week of learning with Friday Fun, Friday is not Friday without Friday fun for preps that’s final, period, say no more, end of discussion. We all also liked the educational games you taught us and we all loved how you always put humour into our lessons.

And last but most certainly not least I have to thank my family. My Mum and Dad are both great people and I think without their support I wouldn’t be the person I am today or maybe I wouldn’t even be up here reading my speech to you. They have taught me so much. They helped me be able to control my emotions at a very young age and taught me the basics for writing, reading and other things so I was ready for school. They were also there to comfort me when I was feeling stressed or sad. So I believe this is one of the most important thanks ever, I love you guys.

It’s going to be really hard leaving this place, lots of us are going to lots of different high schools. I even know that a few of us have some sports scholarships, so good job to those people and may your future be sporty. I’m heading off to Mount Alexander College with a couple of other friends such as Nicolas, Martin and Asanta and some others too, but that also means that I will be leaving a bunch of other friends, but I will make sure we stay in contact and I want you to know that you all will be in my heart forever.

Our primary school days have gone on for 7 years but it just feels like 1 day. Graduating makes us feel like we just climbed a huge mountain and yet this is just our first step of life’s journey. A journey this school has prepared us for by instilling in us the values of respect, optimism, caring and collaboration.

So tonight I say good bye to this incredible school, I know I will never forget this place. The memories I have made here are endless and they will never be forgotten. And although the time for us to learn here is over we will always be students of Moonee Ponds Primary School because once an MPPS student always an MPPS student.

Thank you and good night.

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