I would like to start by saying welcome to all of our parents, teachers, support staff, our student body, and of course our graduates in 9A. I think it is important that we take a moment to mention how wonderful it is that we can all be together in the same room on this wonderful day, celebrating together.
As educators, graduation day is both a happy and sad occasion for us. We are sad to see you leave, and will miss you, however we are happy to celebrate the wonderful people you have become and to remember the 4 wonderful years you have spent here at VSP.
I like to think that I am in a uniquely good position to talk about your time here, as I have gotten to know you well over the last 3 years. A number of you were amongst the first classes I taught here, and a few were in my homeroom. I will always remember the first few weeks of that year. Despite being 5,000 miles from home, not really knowing where anything was or how things worked, you showed considerable respect and kindness towards me, which speaks volumes for your character. And the fact that you show the same kindness and respect now says even more.
You may not remember yourselves at that time as well. I remember most of you were shorter, reluctant to speak in public and you could write around a paragraph of English. Seeing you grow over the last 3 years has therefore been a pleasure. You are now confident and intelligent enough to stand and speak in front of any audience. I have seen you do assemblies, host major school events and your writing is considered short if it is less than 2 pages. Aside from that you are almost all taller than me. I hope you are proud of this growth.
Seeing our student body now, it is easy to forget where we started 4 years ago. But 4 years ago you stepped into the school as our first Middle School students, and that means you have had a unique experience here. You are not only our first graduates, but were our first Grade 6s, 7s, 8s and 9s; you took part in our first Drama productions, Music concerts and this year you are our first Student Heads of House. This means that you never had older students to look up to. You found confidence and leadership skills yourselves, you have always been trailblazers.
And today, as our first graduates, these experiences mean I don’t worry about you. Even though you are going to a variety of places, some quite close and some very very far away, you have already showed leadership and confidence in every step.
Before I finish, I would like to leave you with one more thought. We here at VSP are proud of the wonderful people you have become. It is now time for you to take those leadership skills, that confidence, hard work and that intelligence and set out on a new adventure, and I look forward to hearing about where it takes you. VSP is proud of you.