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Viper Times

Student Run School News Website

Viper Times

Student Run School News Website

Viper Times

Senior Graduation Speeches 2022

Graduation Performances


Senior Honors Night Speeches:

Jaqueline Roth

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, rather than following the steps before you, to create your own path and lead a trail for others to follow. If there is anyone that this applies to, it is the bright, innovative, and creative students at Verrado that I have worked alongside for the last few years, watching them reach new heights like never before, always breaking ground and leading the way into the unknown. But sometimes, you get put in that position anyway.

Whether you were at Verrado or a different school for 9th grade, this was the year that we had to figure out high school for the first time, and experience all the excitement, anxiety, and change that comes along with the new and often daunting transition. We were introduced to the One Verrado community, made new friends, many of us attended our first Friday night football games, and we made it through our first year with standards-based grading and door-free classrooms, all while getting a good idea of the kind of unique environment we would be a part of for our high school careers.

And that next year, as sophomores, right when we had adjusted to life the way it would be for the next three years, everything changed. With the hit of the Covid pandemic, we got thrown into a school environment different from anything we had seen before or could have prepared for.

Junior year, as Covid continued to impact the way we experience school and learning, we had to learn how to be a new type of student that never existed before. Not only did we adapt to new ways of learning and participating in sports and clubs, but we experienced a significant year without many of the exciting moments we looked forward to, like our first prom and other milestones. But through all of the Zoom meetings, virtual lectures, Google classroom assignments, and internet glitches, we somehow found our way through. We utilized these adjustments to the best of our abilities and incorporated different ways of collaboration, communication, and friendship among our peers and school community as we moved on as seniors.

This was our last year of high school, in which we had to navigate the path of our next steps, and the stress of college and career preparations, trying to figure out who we are as people and where that will lead us in the next chapters of our stories. We competed in our sports for the last time, went to our last homecoming, said goodbye to our favorite teachers, and walked the Verrado halls for the last time.

Every year of our high school career I watched my class steer through the unknown, trying to figure out what our next steps look like when we didn’t even know the “now,” all while balancing being teenagers and discovering what life is going to be like as we grow into adults.

And we did; we made it through with wordle one letter at a time, forever finding new proxies to play snake in class no matter how many times they were blocked, rebelling in our own little ways as we grew into unique strong individuals while having a little fun along the way. We did it all; not only did we adapt to our circumstances and surroundings but we thrived, we found joy, creativity, and inspiration in the midst of the chaos and the loss. I have seen perseverance and success in a world that is constantly changing, evolving, terrifying.

It’s true we live in uncertain times, but so have generations before us. Ralph Waldo Emerson himself wrote those opening words when our country was literally being torn apart in a civil war, and they still hold true today. No matter what the future brings, I have every confidence in the peers who stand beside me today as the leaders of the world that we will continue to change for the better. And I am proud to say today that we did it, together. And we only have the best to come.


Diego Valenzuela

I’d like to begin by thanking the families, friends, and school staff that have helped us get here today. It’s because of their contributions to our education that we are able to celebrate our accomplishments.

The journey has not been an easy one and in the past few years especially, we have been tested and pushed to extremes, none of us ever could have seen coming.

Thinking back to our first moments of high school, the halls seemed so big and the layout of the school was confusing, several times throughout the day I’m sure we all wondered how we would ever get used to the lack of doors as we tried to adjust to the new world of high school. The upperclassmen with full beards and the idea of a teacher AND student parking lot were intimidating at first but after a while, it just became a part of life.

By the time sophomore year rolled around, we knew what we were doing, or at least thought we did. Many of us took our first AP classes and permit tests as we prepared for the future and tried to take a proactive approach. Then when things seemed to be going well, the world sort of ended. We spent almost a year learning through our Chromebook screens, trying to figure out our new reality and somehow stay connected.

Junior year is when most of us began to really plan for the future, going on campus tours, researching careers but most importantly talking to our peers about their plans and coming up with our own way. Unfortunately, because of our circumstances, we were, for the most part, denied the opportunity to have these experiences with one another. These were our most uncertain moments of high school.

As we began our senior year, it wasn’t easy. It felt like we had just been sophomores and now we had to do all of our Naviance. This year has not denied us any memories, some fond and others less so. We had some interesting phases like having to leave our backpacks at the front of classrooms because of devious licks or when we eventually all became fire drill professionals, and we can’t forget our 3 or 4 senior ditch days. Thankfully, senior year has paid off and has brought us to the present. This is in no small part due to the effort of the people around you.

Today, we celebrate our own and our peers’ achievements; and what we do in the moments after graduation still remains to be seen. But in this moment, we prepare to stand on the cusp of the rest of our lives, and what comes next is entirely up to you. I’m sure some of you couldn’t be more excited to get started, but the rest of us are terrified. But we can do this. Ask anyone and they’ll tell you these last 2 years have been absolutely off-the-wall-insane, but we’re all still here. Not only that, but we’ve also almost finished half of high school in some of the hardest times in recent history and succeeded above the rest, which is why you were all invited here tonight.


Senior BBQ Speech

Jessica Schacher

Welcome, everyone!! Thanks for coming out to our senior BBQ! I just wanted to say some things real quick, I am so proud of this class and it was so much fun being your senior class VicePresident and just representing everyone here! We’ve made it through some tough experiences these past four years but I really feel like we’ve preserved and found a way to make the best of things! One of the things I love about Verrado is that there is a place for everyone here, whether it’s through sports, academics, the arts, or clubs, it’s given us the opportunity to create these memories we are going to remember for years to come. So, as we count down these last two days before graduation, I just want everyone to really soak in these memories because we are never going to be in these moments ever again. It has been such a blast going through these last four years with you guys, so congratulations to everyone, and good luck to all of you and whatever paths you are going to begin. Here’s to the class of 2022!!


Graduate Speech #1

Paola Valdes

Here we are on a day we have been waiting to come for what feels like forever. As I look around, I see so many different groups of people. Some of us have known each other since elementary school, while others barely met this year. Still, we all went through the crazy experience that is High School. I think back to freshman year and can’t believe the amount of progress we’ve made. From being freshman, where we were scared that we’d get pennies thrown at us; to sophomore year, with the endless spring break; to junior year, where we bounced around from being online and in-person; and eventually what felt like a jump to Senior year where we had no idea if we would get a normal year or be able to have any fun.

It’s insane to think of all of the things we went through these past 4 years. We may have all had different experiences, however, we went through these years together. Now we are all moving on to different paths of life. Whether it’s going to a university, the military, the workforce, or just taking some time to figure life out, we all have a lifetime ahead of us. It is exciting and scary at the same time.

Now, when you hear the phrase YOLO, you probably laugh or think it’s silly. However, this phrase of “you only live once” kept me going this year. When you really think about it, there is so much truth to it. We only have one life. I want to encourage you all to live it to the fullest. Don’t be afraid to take risks and go after the life you want. Take a chance, go after your happiness, build your future.

If the past couple of years have taught us anything, it’s that nothing is promised. We just witnessed how life could change in an instant. The past 2 years of high school were like no other in our history. It’s crazy to think that decades from now, there will be a history lesson about us and what we went through. That aside, I hope that we are able to learn from these experiences and push ourselves to not take anything for granted. No matter where you are in life or what gets thrown at you, follow your dreams, say yes to an opportunity, create your happiness, and don’t live with regrets. You only live once.

I hope that in the future when we are all old and retired, we can look back on our lives, and instead of saying “what if” we say, “Wow I lived the best life I could have.” I don’t know what this next step of life is going to look like for you, but I hope that it makes you genuinely happy. I hope that you push yourself to make your dreams come true. Don’t let anything stand in your way. Don’t be scared to put yourself out there. I believe in every single one of us here. Remember, you only live once, so make sure that you live. Thank you.


Graduation Speech #2

Raymond Naylor V

Common experience. With 7 billion people on this planet, this is something that has become so very rare in our society that we have almost forgotten its value. Going through something together, whether it be struggle, hardship or success breeds a bond that is unique to that of any other. Though we don’t all know each other, we do know what the others been through as we have been through it too. We have altogether gone through the struggles faced by any generation going through high school, stress from grades, pressure from sports, and of course plenty from our social lives. But at the end of our sophomore year came something unprecedented, something no one had any experience dealing with because it simply had never happened before. The Covid 19 outbreak turned our lives upside down just as we had begun to adjust to high school.  We spent the following months at home attending school online having rolled out of bed not 5 minutes before telling our teachers for the 4th time that day that they are on mute.

Now… this is where some would argue that you can’t in fact have a high school experience without actually going to high school. These people could not be more wrong. It was during these long days stuck at home that we realized that high school despite the implications of the name isn’t an experience that evolves around school but an experience that encompasses this entire chapter of our lives. We fell back on each other; we fell back on our friends finding friendship and growth amongst people who were all going through both a very individual yet common experience at the same time.  To find positivity in a situation where the whole world wants you to see negative is one of the hardest things in the world to do but we found it, we found each other.

It is true that the rest of our lives we will remember these hardships, but they will be overshadowed by how we overcame them to create not the “covid experience or the high school experience” but our experience. When today ends and we are Vipers no more, we take with us our experience. Our life will change but the lessons we learned will serve us to our dying day. Our old friendships may fade but the experiences we had with each other never will and because of that our bonds cannot be broken. Past glories that once meant everything will lose all value except to remind us that we are in fact capable of and deserving of the best. Life will without a doubt have new struggles for us. The future holds no guarantees but the past…, what we went through together can never be undone. Every one of us has their own path to walk, not one of which is the same. But for the rest of your life, you will always have your past as a Viper. Now if I may take a moment for a personal note which I know applies to some of you and I hope applies to all of you.

Nothing in my life has made me prouder than representing this school be it in academics, or sports or simply as a human being. Every time a donned a Verrado uniform I felt like the best version of myself, like a member of a community rather an individual, and for that, I wanna say thank you, wearing the gold and black has been the honor of my life.


Auditioned Speeches

Denise Michelle Sandoval Bustamante

 Coming to the end of our high school journey, I realized that each one of us is preparing to build up our future. Even though we all went to the same school, we all had unique and different experiences throughout these four years. It was a crazy journey If I am being honest but with all the lessons and the knowledge that I have now, I wouldn’t change a thing about it. One thing that I will never forget is how united Verrado is, how we’re all trying our best to progress each day. We cannot expect perfection, but we can expect effort. That’s one thing that I would like to tell future freshmen to know is to take their schooling seriously. Yes, it may be fun going out but trust me every year counts not only just your senior year.

I am so grateful for the opportunity to be at this school, It was a long journey yet so fast. I remembered when I was a freshman, I asked a senior how they liked it so far. I remembered she said that these four years will be the fastest years of your life. I always thought she was lying because the first month already felt like I’d been here for years. But now that I reflect, I wish I can tell myself to embrace each day because you never know how much you’re going to miss something until it becomes a memory. And unfortunately, that’s how life works. It’s a mixed feeling in this situation because you’re happy that you made it through high school, yet sad knowing that this is probably our last goodbyes.

One thing that I would like to tell the senior graduates is to never give up no matter how hard things get or when plans don’t go as you planned. Remember that you’re not alone and to fight for what you believe in and believe in yourself that you can because I know that each one of us will grow and become the person you want to be. I know that everyone here has a different path but one thing I want you to know is that Graduation is a part of the journey, not the destination. There are so many more things for you to experience and places to go see. So, please enjoy the moment now and prepare for how you could get to that final destination you wish to be.

It can be scary knowing that we don’t know what is exactly ahead of us but one thing is that even when things get hard keep going and try again no matter how many times you fail. Failure isn’t what stops you, it’s only yourself. I am so glad that the Verrado Staff and teachers have taught us to keep on going and the preparations that they have provided for us and so many different options that we can choose from. This taught me so many choices to pick from that I wouldn’t have known without their help. Verrado has given us so many opportunities and lessons given to us but it is whether we will use them or not.

I would like to thank the school staff for making this all happen and supporting us and most importantly my parents who have taught me so much and have believed in me even when I didn’t feel like I could. I wouldn’t be where I am today without them. Just know that all of you are capable of doing hard things and never say that you can’t because you can. Never let those obstacles stop you from pursuing your dreams. And always remember that Once a Viper is always a Viper.

Priya Khetarpal

We all share one thing in common and that is Verrado High School. Glance to your left… and glance to your right…

Whether you have been a Viper for all four years, or have recently joined us, these are the people you have spent your time at Verrado building cherished relationships with. Once we leave this stadium, we will all go on different paths in our journey, but these connections that led us here will remain.

When we started this year, we didn’t really know what to expect when returning to Verrado full time. Nevertheless, we came in determined to make unforgettable memories: our dances, academic recognition, fine arts festivals, witnessing our friends commit to their futures, being the life of the party at the Viper Pit, and many more. We spent each minute we had together creating lifelong memories, making this year count more than ever.

Think about how we got here, sitting in rows as graduates, we all experienced challenges along the way. The COVID-19 pandemic posed a drastic struggle to us all. Trapped in our homes, we learned to show up to online school every day. Teaching ourselves to stay awake during those early morning classes…or for most of us…sleeping through our Google meets. All while managing jobs, trying to understand our grade book, sports, academics, clubs, and our other handful of responsibilities.  We did our best to make it work.

What I hope we’ve all taken away from all the struggles and triumphs is that each of these moments–struggle or otherwise–helped us get here. When facing adversity, we were actually provided with an opportunity to grow and become stronger as a result. The perseverance we had to learn during the past 4 years has prepared us to take on the world.  We prepared ourselves in the midst of all the uncertainties of the future and found independence and self-reliance a little early.

In these experiences we got a glimpse of the independence and responsibility we will now hold full time as graduated individuals. It’s in our hands what we do with this newfound freedom. Someone wise once told me you get 86,400 seconds every day, and time is your most precious resource. It’s up to you to use it efficiently and to the fullest. Strive for excellence, keep learning, and maintain healthy relationships with those close to you.  We have our whole lives ahead of us, but those paths start now, so I implore you in this next chapter of life to chase your “why” and pursue what you are passionate about. Don’t measure your success based on others because each person’s why is different and unique to them.

Once we leave these doors, the possibilities are endless. Take what you have learned with your time at Verrado High School and use that to achieve something great. Class of 2022, it’s been a pleasure spending these past 4 years alongside you all and I would not want to graduate alongside a different group of people. On behalf of our amazing staff at Verrado High School, I would like to say congratulations!

Class of 2022, WE MADE IT.

Stephanie Montes

As a group, we started from the bottom, and now the whole team is here, as Drake would say. High school is not perfect, to say the least, but it’s all about what you make out of it. People would always tell me to get involved and make the most out of my high school experience because it will fly by, this person being my mom. How could anyone say that 4 years of school would go by so fast? I sure didn’t believe it; I had the impression that high school will be the longest years of my life. Looking back, I wish my impression was correct high school did in fact fly by. The relationships and connections we have made here at Verrado will last a lifetime, but for some of us, this won’t apply, which is perfectly fine. As we get older, we grow and blossom into new versions of ourselves that just needs to be surrounded by the same energy and mindset.

As we conclude our last few moments together many of us will just be glad to leave and eat with friends and family and possibly party after. Some of us will be filled with emotions, this may be me because graduating high school is such a bittersweet moment for everyone here today. But who am I to say what others may feel or accomplish, because in the end, these are all words, and it’s up to you on how you interpret them. My goal is that you take these words and do something with them and I’m not in a position to tell you what to do with them because it’s your life and you can do with it as you please. My words being be happy in life, I won’t wish fame or financial success on you but if you do accomplish this give me a call. This goes back to what you make out of the situation, find your happiness, don’t sit around and wait for it to find you, take risks, go out, and get out of your comfort zone. But most importantly follow your passions and dreams as corny as it sounds because at the end of the day you only live one life, so live it to the fullest. Thank you, Vipers.




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Senior Graduation Speeches 2022