Abby: Members of the Board of Education, Mr. Keenan, esteemed faculty, staff, family, and friends, thank you all for being here tonight and joining the Class of 2018 for our last day at Cedar Creek.

Cayla: First, we’d like to thank you... all of the teachers, family, and friends that have gotten us here with your love and compassion. Without your patience and support many of us would not have been able to wake up every day and come to school these last four years… and for that, we want to applaud you.

Abby: Just like our favorite pep rally activity, the past four years have been a rollercoaster. We are going to miss walking the halls of Cedar Creek, but we will never forget the memories we’ve made:

Cayla: Singing along to our favorite Grease songs, and going on field trips with Mr. Martino...

Abby: Eating Mr. Sansevere’s warm chocolate chip cookies, and thumb wrestling with Ebose...

Cayla: Receiving Mrs. Brown’s friendly smiles in class, and Albie’s fist bumps in the hallways...

Abby: Even watching iconic Friday night football games under our stadium lights... and winning the plank at our final pep rally...

Cayla: And thank you to Mr. Ernie for playing one particular song at our pep rallies… over and over and over again. We promise that we won’t “stop believing”. (pause) And as we look forward to our futures, we will continue “believing”. … because how could we ever “stop believing?”

Abby: We have completed the past four years of high school with great EFFORT, ATTITUDE, and TENACITY.

Cayla: During our time here, the Class of 2018 has contributed immensely to most of Cedar Creek’s greatest feats:

Abby: The football team and the softball team both winning the Group 2 South Jersey Championships...

Cayla: The Consumer Bowl team and the Envirothon teams both winning the State Championship...

Abby: Over ten of our varsity sports teams winning Cape Atlantic League Championships...

Cayla: And our academic teams winning over fifteen of their competitions...

Abby: All of these victories have not gone unnoticed by our school or the community. The class of 2018 has certainly left its mark on Cedar Creek. Our abilities have carried us this far, but it remains to be seen how far our abilities will take us in the future.

Cayla: My parents have always encouraged me to do everything to the best of my ability. Whenever I became upset with my failures, my dad would always ask me, “did you try your best?” I would then nod my head and he would smile at me and say “Well, that's all you can do. I am proud of you”. My parents’ unwavering support suddenly made everything that seemed impossible, possible.

Abby: Like Cayla, when I brought home my first bad test score in 5th grade, my dad asked “Did you try your hardest to prepare for the test?” I knew I hadn't. When he asked “Why not?”, I didn't have an answer. I realized that there was no point in doing anything in life if I wasn't doing it to the best of my ability.

Cayla: Class of 2018, have you tried your best? Have you done everything you can to prepare for the life you want to live going forward?

Abby: Sometimes we think that it’s too late to start improving ourselves, but it never is. Don’t spend too much time staring at the scoreboard of life. The score doesn’t always matter, it’s how you have personally improved that counts in the long run.

Cayla: All anyone can expect is for a person to strive to be their best everyday. We must continue learning and growing throughout our entire lives, for this is the key to success and happiness.

Abby: Class of 2018, take a moment to think about all that we have accomplished as a class, and think about all that YOU have accomplished as an individual in just the past four years.

Cayla: Now, imagine what you can achieve with the rest of your life if you live every day to the best of your ability.

Abby: Just as we have learned from the graduating classes before us, we hope to have inspired those that will follow. It has been a privilege to help shape the culture of Cedar Creek, just as it has helped shape us as individuals.

Cayla: To our teachers, thank you for your wisdom and kindness. To our parents, thank you for your compassion and support. To our family and friends, thank you for the memories and laughs. And to the Class of 2018… congratulations. You’ve earned it!

Abby: Now, please welcome Greater Egg Harbor Regional High School District Superintendent, Mr. John Keenan.

Contact: 609-272-7251

CLowe@pressofac.com

Twitter @clairelowe

I began covering South Jersey in 2008 after graduating from Rowan University with a degree in journalism. I joined The Press in 2015. In 2013, I was awarded a NJPA award for feature writing as a reporter for The Current of Hamilton Township.