The top two graduates of the Class of 2023 focused on being judged by numbers and staying true to oneself in their commencement speeches to their classmates.
The 567 students of Wylie East High School’s most recent graduating class walked the stage Saturday, May 27, at the Credit Union of Texas Event Center in Allen.
Wylie East High School Principal Tiffany Doolin gave opening remarks, focusing on her proudness of this year’s graduates.
“There are no words for how proud I am of you today,” Doolin said. “Having a front row seat to cheer you on each day is a priceless bonus. I cannot wait to see everything you will accomplish both as a principal and overjoyed mom of a graduate. You are leaving a legacy of greatness at Wylie East and Wylie ISD.”
She continued, challenging graduates to approach their futures with eagerness and acceptance.
“As you move forward from high school, you will be tested in ways you cannot imagine,” Doolin said. “I have no doubt you have the skills, knowledge and character to succeed. Whether you are headed to college, a vocational program, the military or the workforce, my challenge to you is to approach the future with open minds, arms and hearts.”
Following Doolin’s address, salutatorian Troy Teggatz spoke to his fellow graduates with a theme of independence reflecting on weaknesses and stepping outside of one’s comfort zone.
“We have all worked toward our strengths in high school, but going forward, I believe that reflecting on some of our weaknesses will determine how far we go,” Troy said. “Every vulnerability is an opportunity to reflect on yourself. Try something uncomfortable like talking in front of thousands of people.”
He continued, emphasizing his own self-improvement by zeroing in on his weaknesses.
“Continuing to be myself and focusing on my weaknesses has contributed to the person I am today,” Troy said. “Once we work on our weaknesses, we must believe that we can achieve anything we set our mind to. You are the driving force in determining who you are and the contribution you add to the world.”
Following Troy’s speech, valedictorian Robert Price addressed the Class of 2023. During his address, Robert focused on the challenges he and his classmates will face when they step into the world.
“We will face monumental challenges as we grow into the next phase of our lives, just like the ones we have faced already: getting jobs, managing a budget and sticking to a schedule,” Robert said. Sometimes, the challenges will come unexpectedly, like when COVID completely derailed our freshman year. We can’t always control what obstacles we encounter, but we can prepare to do our best every day.”
He continued by saying that there are still strong supporting casts behind graduates as they encounter challenges life throws at them.
“We must remember that we are not alone,” Robert said. “We have each other, our families, teachers and community to guide us along the way. We must also stay true to our values and passions in our journeys to surpass our obstacles.”
In the final portion of his speech, he urged the Class of 2023 to make a positive change in the world.
“For the sake of all the generations that came before us and those that will come after, let us fix the systems we see damaged and better all things we touch,” Robert said.
Following Robert’s address, Doolin declared the Class of 2023 graduates and they were given their diplomas.
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