Senior speaker

Hattie Haerr

“Congratulations!

Today is your day

You’re off to great places

You’re up and away!”

We made it. I’m not really sure how considering it seems like we’re all still in fourth grade and getting excited when the trains go by at recess. Graduation always seemed to be so far off, this amazing day that would never come, but yet here we are. 

First, I’d like to get my “thank yous” out of the way so we can get to the good stuff. Most importantly, I am so thankful for my faith which got me through all of the tough times. A big thank you to my parents, siblings and the rest of my family for being my biggest supporters and also my therapists when life got a little rough (which seemed to be quite a bit of the time).

 I’d like to thank my friends for making my life very interesting and a ton of fun. 

PHS has a lot of amazing teachers, but I’d like to thank one of the best, Ms. Hamilton. Thank you Ms. Hamilton for being incredible. For those of you who don’t know her, she is one of the most caring people I have ever met. She truly cares about how students are inside and outside of her classroom. To the students going into high school, I highly suggest getting to know her. 

And of course, I have to give a shoutout to my Pom team and Mrs. Coach. We fought and laughed quite a bit and I wouldn’t change it for the world. (Oh and did y’all know we got third in state?) 

Finally, thank you to the many other people who helped me along the way.

Going to school in a small town came with a lot of cliches; everyone knows everyone, everyone knows your business, pretty much everyone just knows everything. And also we have kids who occasionally drive their tractors to school so that’s cool. 

But something kind of nice about going to school here, is that over the years, we really became a family. 

And like all families, we have lots of memories from our time together. Memories like begging our parents to let us have sleepovers, getting dressed in our coolest neon tees and skinny jeans or khaki shorts to go to the middle school dances, falling all over the place during the skating unit in PE, and of course asking everyone to like this post for a TBH (which was usually something like: “idk you too well, but you seem cool”). 

Families don’t always get along, but in the end there are true bonds that have been made and there is no better way to build a strong bond like crying over math homework together, trust me. 

We got to watch each other grow up and go through super awkward phases that usually had to do with braces and a bad haircut (shoutout to my eighth grade bangs!). 

In the end though, we all turned out okay, just a few mishaps here or there. Like when the group of girls left to run to Alana’s grandma’s house to get a snack during school or when our College Art class got caught looking at the test early. 

We learned our way around high school pretty easily. Which teachers would let you eat in class, which ones would let you have your phone out, that Cole gives the BEST high fives, and most importantly, that if you sweet-talk Jill enough, she’ll let you get extra food for free. But seriously, Jill, if you’re listening, I really think you should try to find a job at Mizzou, because I hate the thought of not seeing you everyday at lunch.

Throughout our school years, we had help from the people around us, but ultimately we did it. We got through the difficult classes, the long nights, and the tough times. All those moments we worried and stressed were worth it (even if we might need a little therapy from it).

We completed the biggest step for preparing us for the future. The next step is college. 

My hope for us is that we go into college with the strong foundation we have from Palmyra, but that we strive for new experiences and ideas from wherever we go. We have been given the tools we need to be successful and I have a feeling this class will do great things. After all, we are the “try-hard class”.

As I near the end of my speech, I figured I should give a piece of advice to the future and current high school students. 

It took me a while but one of the most important lessons I’ve learned is to not sweat the small stuff. It’s so easy to get caught up in worrying about every little thing that happens, but I promise you it isn’t worth it. 

Whether you forget to do an assignment, get a bad grade on a test, or whatever else it might be, just take a deep breath and remember that everything will be okay. The mistakes that you make are just preparing you for the future. They aren’t going to ruin your life, I promise.

Well, class of 2019 our time has come. It’s time to say goodbye to many things, people, and our good ole high school days. I’m really going to miss hanging out with you all in and out of school, but I know I’ll always have the memories to keep with me. 

And as Dr. Seuss once said,

“You’re off to great places,

Today is your day,

Your mountain is waiting,

So get on your way.”