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Viper Times

Student Run School News Website

Viper Times

Student Run School News Website

Viper Times

Class of 2023

Graduation Speeches


Emma Brittain

Class of 2023 

Hello and good evening, Verrado Vipers and the class of 2023, My name is Emma Brittain and I am beyond honored to be talking with you all today. I know most of you don’t know me, and that more than half of you probably didn’t know my name until a few minutes ago. But that’s not surprising, you see I am not your valedictorian, nor in your top 10%. I am your average, just like most of you. We find that the average can achieve greatness whether recognized by the world or just a few, greatness comes from our friends reaching out to us, it’s in those who go out of their way to be thoughtful.

As I look around at all of you, with proud smiles on your faces I notice some have countless cords, lays, and other accessories representing your academic achievements, all of which you should be so proud of. There are others with only a gown, this fabric around all of our necks, and the pride of their hard work through all the years. The journey to get into this seat was different for all of us. While some students’ greatest struggles were maintaining a curtain GPA, others struggled with showing up to class. But no matter what your struggle was, you all made it here. From our valedictorian to number 417, you all have a rightful spot to your seat. We have to understand that those pieces of strings and fabrics don’t make us who we are. Your true success comes from your experiences, not your letter grade. High school is not the end. It is the foundation for your future, and a long lasting memory with some heart breaks down the road and the proudest Joys you could ever imagine. It’s time you be the person you’re proud to be despite your ranking. 

We are the class of 2023, to me that means we are the class of resilience, We have stuck together through all the trials and tribulations of life together, from a worldwide pandemic resulting in a 2 year quarantine, to the little things like group projects and sat testing, we truly have conquered it all. We are no ordinary group of kids, in this room lies smart and intelligent human beings with a voice to speak up and make a change in this world. A change that many generations didn’t have the courage to challenge. Generations that were too caught and busy to notice the challenges. We are fighters, dedicated individuals, and above all we are a community that inspires. 

I want you to take this time to look around and truly take this moment in. This will be the last time all 417 of us will be in this room together. Next time we see one another we will say “we went to high school together” we are connected and bounded for the rest of our lives, We are vipers to the One and only Verrado High School. As we prepare to move our tassels, it’s our time to take on the world, and to find and pursue our passions; to really leave a legacy. Riddle me this, The opportunity to achieve greatness is right in front of us, we just have to grab it.

Thank you. 


Madison Hachmann

It’s probably true that today is the last day you will ever see most of the people sitting beside you now. If we’re going with the ‘new chapter’ metaphor, these people– whether they are good friends, school acquaintances, or just nameless people you pass in the hallway– it’s likely that today is the last day many of them will appear in the story that is your life. It’s easy to mull over goodbyes. Something about the incomprehensibility of never seeing a person again makes goodbyes sad and heavy with the pressure to say all that words can’t express (and even if words could convey what you want to say, oftentimes, it’s embarrassing to let people know how much you really care about them). Finding just the right thing to say is difficult.

But final goodbyes don’t have to feel all bitter, because we carry with us a piece of everyone we’ve ever come across, even if we don’t realize it. For example, today I applied blush to my cheeks the way my childhood best friend taught me to, ten years ago. On this notecard, I wrote my letter g’s just how my fifth-grade teacher did, when, seven years ago, I thought hers looked prettier than mine and vowed to copy them for the rest of my life. I’ve long said goodbye to both of these people, and it’s unlikely that I’ll speak to either of them ever again, yet their influence lingers. Even if we never again see our classmates and our teachers who meant so much to us for the past four years, we’ll always have the lessons– from trivial to life-changing. We’ll always have what they showed us about ourselves and what they taught us about the world. We’ll always have the person they made us.

And, of course, we have the memories too. We have pictures, that will one day be old photographs, no doubt subject to the points of little fingers and questions like, “Mom, who is this standing next to you?” and, “Is that really how people used to wear their hair back then?” We have melodramatic diary entries that we can stumble upon and laugh at years down the road. One day, something will come up one way or another and remind us of our old high school friend group. Maybe it’ll feel bittersweet like nostalgia often does, and that’s okay, but again, I hope you can find comfort in holding on to what you can.

So, as we move forward, let us remember that starting a new chapter does not mean forever closing an old one. We can always reread. We can always remember. Our lives changed over the past four years, and there’s nothing that can take away the friendships we built, the experiences we lived, and the lessons we learned. The marks left by the people in our lives are indelible, and we’ll wear them while we make all the new friendships, live all the new experiences, and learn all the new lessons. With all that being said, class of 2023, goodbye!


Dylan Olson

Thank you,  and thank you to the students, teachers, parents, and staff who contributed to making these 4 years everything we hoped and dreamed of. My name is Dylan Olson, and it’s an honor to be delivering the farewell address for this incredible student body. 

Moving on—- Class of 2023:  we made it. All the shared laughs, tears, and hard work put in by each and every one of you has led us to this very moment right now. Graduation. The time we all go our separate ways and take on the adulting world. 

Ever since I can remember, I was eager to grow up. From rattling the sides of my crib, reading picture books, tying my own shoes, picking out my own clothes, learning how to ride my bike, and leaving my own house to go to school, I was always chasing the freedom that came with being a little older than I was. 

However, when I moved to Arizona in 7th grade, things were moving a little too quick for me. I was fearful things were going to be a little too different. I didn’t know how kids would accept me, I didn’t know if there would be a snake around any given corner, and I was afraid to leave behind my world as I knew it. But, going back was never an option, at least that’s what my parents told me. 

And before I knew it, I started to grow up here too. Rattling my crib became sleepovers with friends. Picture books became chrome books. Tying my shoes became stealing 2nd base. Picking out my own clothes became picking stores to shop at. Riding my bike became getting my license, just like Olivia rodrigo. And lastly, leaving my house for school became leaving my town for school. As I’m standing here today, in front of all 439 of you, I’ve realized growing up isn’t something to be afraid of, but rather something to embrace. 

In the past 4 years at Verrado, I’ve made new friendships and memories that will last a lifetime. In the past 4 years, we’ve grown up together. We went from meeting as freshmen at open house, to reuniting as juniors after a year online. We experienced the Friday night frenzies of the Viper Pit. Our actors and singers performing under the stage lights. A homecoming dance under the stars. Long days at CTE and Skills USA conferences. Long night bus rides back from Stugo Disney trips. The unprecedented ability the swim team has in creating homecoming parade floats. Worrying about the senior assassin onslaught in all local gyms and grocery stores. Struggling to grind out our major clarity assignments in order to graduate. Having the soles of our shoes worn thin from the miles we’ve logged after so many fire alarms. Being able to recalibrate our morning routine to account for the newly installed TSA checkpoints. The excitement of finally being the top dogs of the school, and finally preparing for our lives, beyond just our school walls. 

We’re all growing up Class of 2023, so I say don’t be afraid. Embrace growing up, become the person little us would’ve been proud of. Thank you again for the unforgettable memories we’ve made over the best 4 years of our lives. I cannot wait to see how we’ve all grown after another four. As Steve Maraboli Once said, “Letting go isn’t about having the courage to release the past; it’s about having the wisdom to embrace the present”. 

Keep going, keep growing, and I know whatever challenges stand in our way, better be ready for what’s to come. VP signing off.

Speech Auditions

Sebastiano Trupiano

Good evening everyone, distinguished guests, faculty, parents, and fellow graduates. It is an honor to stand before you today as we celebrate the end of our high school journey and the beginning of a new chapter in our lives.
We have worked hard to get here, and this moment is a testament to our perseverance, dedication, and passion for learning. We have overcome countless challenges and obstacles along the way, but we never gave up on our dreams and aspirations. And now, we stand here together, ready to embrace the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.
As we look back on our high school years, we remember the friends we made sitting in the crowded cafeteria, the lessons we learned in and out of the classroom, and the memories we created. We remember the late nights studying for exams, the thrill of winning the big game, and the sense of community we felt at school events. We also remember the times we stumbled, the mistakes we made, and the moments of self-doubt. But we learned from those experiences, and they made us stronger, wiser, and more resilient.
Today, we celebrate not only our achievements, but also the support and encouragement of those who have helped us along the way. Our families, friends, and teachers have been our biggest champions, cheering us on and believing in us even when we didn’t believe in ourselves. They have challenged us, inspired us, and pushed us to be our best selves. And for that, we are forever grateful.
As we embark on the next chapter of our lives, we know that the road ahead will be filled with both triumphs and setbacks. But we also know that we are ready to face whatever comes our way. We have the knowledge, skills, and resilience to succeed in college, in the workforce, and in life. We have the support of our loved ones, and we have each other.
So let us celebrate this moment, not just as the end of high school, but as the beginning of a new journey. Let us embrace the challenges and opportunities ahead with open hearts and curious minds. And let us never forget the lessons we learned and the friendships we made during our time here.
Thank you, and congratulations to the Class of 2023, and remember, one Verrado!
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Class of 2023