Corsicana High School 2005 Graduation


Corsicana High School Index


5/29/2005 Valedictorian Speech

By Ernest Alba CHS Valedictorian

Distinguished CHS Class of 2005, Superintendent, Principal, Administrators, Faculty, family, and friends: tonight is not a night of bloated, pompous speeches filled to the brim with pearls of wisdom and fancy quotes. I am eighteen years old. I have no words of wisdom. I haven't lived long enough. I would only like to briefly outlay what I have learned from my limited experiences, and say farewell on behalf of my class, so that you all can enjoy the rest of the night with your loved ones.

Tonight, I come to you with a message of hope. I am not an exceptional person and yet I have the honor of giving this speech. If I, the offspring of recently immigrated Mexicans with limited financial resources, can overcome incredible odds and go from Corsicana to one of the best schools in the country, then I believe success is at everyone's fingertips. What is required for success? More than anything, more than an excellent public school system or financial stability, parental support is indispensable. Teachers can educate students, but they can not raise them. And unless parents prepare their children to receive education, it can not take place. This preparation requires drastic changes in the socialization and rearing of our children. Make sure your children read every day. Teach them to appreciate and value the differences among cultures. Make sure they embrace positive moral values and remain occupied with constructive activities. I know that many parents of younger students are not here. This is where the parents that are here step in. Promote this notion: there is no success without appreciation of education. Your children's happiness is directly linked to education which is the foundation of individual strength and genuine democracy. In our community, it is important for adults to mentor other adults, spreading to them the good news about education. Parents, that is your mission and now is the best time to start. Your children are about to leave you, and you might be on the verge of experiencing Empty Nest Syndrome. The future of our community and the future of this country depend on you and so do your children.

Before I send you off — peers, friends, and parents — I would like to address the families of the Hispanic students and thank them personally. Gracias a los padres y a los amigos de estos estudiantes que se estan graduando. Los sacrificios que ustedes han dado para apoyar nuestro exito como una minoria en medio de una mayoria que cree poco en nosotros han definitivamente demostrado nuestra fuerza en los Estados Unidos. Unicamente por su amor y apoyo, nosotros podremos enfrentar el mundo y aprenderemos mejor como mejorar nuestra raza y nuestra cultura en el futuro. Pero tambien recuerden que ustedes tienen la responsabilidad de guiar a los demas a una vida prospera. Asegurense que nuestros niños Hispanos estudien y caminen por el camino correcto. Asi, todos nosotros podremos sentirnos orgullosos de ser Hispanos.

As valedictorian, it is my ultimate responsibility to say farewell. On behalf of my class, the Corsicana High School Class of 2005: bon soir, buenas noches, good night and good-bye.


As submitted by Ernest Alba.

By Jim Kingman CHS Salutatorian

When it really is broken down into fundamentals, education is about questions and their answers. At Corsicana high school, the class of 2005 has learned the answers to a plethora of questions. Most of those questions have involved school and academics, and many of those answers we have quickly forgotten, but there are other questions whose answers will never be lost. For example, we have learned that in anything, even tennis and football, Corsicana can and will beat Ennis. We have learned that change in school, in life, and with friends will always happen; and it isn’t necessarily all bad when it does. We have answered many hard questions over the past four years, but there are a few questions that may never be answered. We will never know why there is a seagull that lives in the parking lot, or where he came from. It may never be determined why flip-flops and untucked shirts are so bad, and I will definitely never know why we cared so much. But one thing that will never be answered is how Corsicana High School’s Class of 2005 became so impressive.

Since the beginning of our time at CHS, we have been called to a different standard. Most high school classes are able to have a fairly naïve and simple freshman year, but not us. None will forget the feeling when Mr. Lee came over the intercom in September of 2001 to explain that the twin towers had fallen. Suddenly, our education meant more. It became our duty not only to learn, but to cooperate. Mr. Lee was an example of compassionate courage, and we each attempted to follow his lead. Over the years, our class has dealt with issues that most classes can thankfully ignore. We have been educated through a divisive war and election, and, in the process, have learned how to interact with each other, regardless of our opinions.
We have had to learn about personal loss as well. Our class pulled together like family when we lost friends, and showed that we were true friends when we lost family. As juniors, we were asked to be guinea pigs for the new, harder, and more comprehensive TAKS test. Needless to say, that was a bit rocky, but each student here pulled it off. The standards continued to shift as we became seniors. Danzell Lee moved on to greater things, and we experienced our own regime change. Mr. Larkin has done things differently, and asked each senior to step outside of his comfort zone in order for the school to operate. We reluctantly responded, but we managed to get here today. I don’t intend to make it sound like our entire high school has been a big, long, miserable experience, but rather I introduce all of this to point out that every single student sitting before you at some point made a personal decision to finish what had been started. It may have been more difficult for us than other classes, but it was ultimately our choice, and we chose graduation.

One other thing that can be said for our class is that not only did we decide to finish, we decided to do it on our own terms. It would have been easy to become apathetic and to let that show in our academics, athletics, and school life, but we have shown that we have as much pride in our school as our school should have in us. Records were shattered, bones were broken, and trophies were won. Our class led our athletic teams to several district championships and playoff runs. We broke curses and defeated rivals. Our debate team established a dynasty of dominance, with three years of champions and sweeps, while our academic competitors proved themselves to be the best time and time again. In every single endeavor, the Class of 2005 has shown that they are of a different, higher caliber.

This class is headed outward and upward. Our graduates are headed to schools that are in the topmost tier. More students are leaving Corsicana and their friends behind in order to start their own lives than ever before. If there is a single thing that our class has shown, it is that we will always try to do our best, and then try to be even better.

On behalf of the Class of 2005, I would like to thank all of our teachers and coaches, who taught us how to win and how to work. We also thank Rick Larkin, Mona Currington, Joe Adams, Rick Newton, Don Denbow, Jim Dickson, Robert Corley, Danzell Lee, and all of our school board members for looking out for our best interests. Our gratitude also lies with our parents, who instilled motivation in us from the beginning. Finally, we wish to thank the community of Corsicana for showing its tremendous support in each step along the way. I would like to personally thank the CHS class of 2005 for giving me the opportunity to be a part of such a fine collection of young men and women as we move forward with our lives. We may never find out exactly what made this class so exceptional, but one thing is for certain: we have made CHS history. To Ernest, and to all of my friends and classmates, remember: just follow your heart, that’s what I do. Thank you.


As submitted by Jim Kingman.



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