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Senior Breakfast Pictures and Valedictorian’s Senior Breakfast Speech 5.12.17

Passardi and Ethan Gelinas

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Good morning, Wesley Chapel High School Class of 2017!

 I would like to begin by thanking you all for allowing me to serve you on your Student Government for the past four years. Without your support, activities like Spring Roar would have failed. Did you know that we are the first class to have four Spring Roars? We are also the four-year champions of Powder Puff! Our class is full of trail-blazers, record-setters, and tradition-starters. I’d like to share with you a few of each today.

 We have been the “guinea pigs” of many activities and ideas. When we entered the school in 2013, some of us received iPads as part of a brand-new iCat Scholars Program. We had to knead out the kinks, but our talented students have grown the program to include all four years of high school students, even though we only have two mismatched apple pins. We’re also the first class to have the maximum number of years in National English Honor Society. These past three years have been spent reading to elementary students, making poetry slams, and partying with Shakespeare. Our class also marks the origin of our outstanding American Sign Language program! If you’ve been to almost any school event, you’re guaranteed to see them there serving both our school and the hard of hearing.

 You and your classmates have also started our own traditions. You’ve probably seen the blue-and-white cups on the fence, which now say “Go Cats!” Since I started forming them in sophomore year, they’ve become a tradition the Student Government will uphold. Seniors in the Dance Department have also started the Halloween Safe Zone, a unique and successful reimagining of the original Trick or Treat Around the Track. Envirothon also sprouted from the first AP Biology class, and we’ve analyzed frogs, plants, and tracks enough to leave future generations of environmentalists a path to follow. Mu Alpha Theta, our math honor society, started up our first student-led ACT/SAT Tutoring sessions as well. Countless seniors have started clubs these past couple of years and have inspired myriad other clubs, and will continue to do so once we leave. Nothing has stopped Wildcats from pursuing their goals.

 Additionally, the Class of 2017 is also home to numerous record-breakers. You likely already know Dominic Moreno holds our school 1600 meter and 800 meter records, as well as our 4×800 relay record. Dana Mumaw also broke the single game 3-point school record. Christian Austin and Sebastian Matzza won the Boys Weightlifting Eastside Conference Championship, Ben Wolfman went to States for golf, Abbey Duncan helped break the school record for 200m swim relay, and our wrestling team won the conference championship for the first time in school history. Seniors also have participated in multiple extra-curricular activities. Recently, we took two bands to MPA (which hasn’t happened in over a decade), our Wind Ensemble received a Straight A Superior rating (the first time since 2012), and the Wind Ensemble earned an overall Superior at States for the second time in our school’s history. Our thespians also won three Critic’s Choices at Districts. We also seem to have a record number of AA degree recipients in the room! Since academic and extracurricular excellence tend to not be recorded as well as athletics, I would like to extend my gratitude for each student here who has surpassed their own limits and is now graduating!

 Before we begin celebrating all of these accomplishments and more, allow me to remind you how special the Class of 2017 is. Not only are we the last class to be comprised almost entirely of people born in the twentieth century, but we are also the only class born along with the school. We were born special, we have proven to be unique, and we will continue our different paths of success into adulthood. Let me leave you with a secret: our original freshman t-shirt design once claimed, “Step aside as we rock the scene, we’re the Class of 2017!” I believe we’ve certainly upheld this slogan, just as we have with the one which made into onto our shirts: “EL17E.” We’ll be rocking the scene at graduation in two weeks. I can’t wait to be there with you.

-Sam Politano

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Senior Breakfast Pictures and Valedictorian’s Senior Breakfast Speech 5.12.17