The final goodbye

At the Class of 2023 graduation, student speakers say goodbye to their classmates for the last time.


Carly Byer

Daisy Lomeli address at the Class of 2023 on Saturday at McCracken Field.

Tati Rubi, Staff Writer

Daisy Lomeli walks up to the mic knowing she has the weight of the graduation speech on her hands. Wiping her palms she takes the microphone and gets ready to say one last goodbye to the people she’s grown up with.

On May 20, the Class of 2023 came together for graduation at McCracken Field. Students, parents, and friends congratulated students for making it to the end of their senior year.

One of the many important things that comes with graduation– is a senior speech. Bridgette Teeter, Cooper Ten Bruin, Daisy Lomeli and Reese Kominoski were some of the students who signed up hoping to speak for their class this year.

Ten Bruin said, “To sign up you first had to pick up an application from the front office. It just said things like ‘Why do you think you deserve to give this speech?,’ ‘What are going to be the outlines of your speech’ and ‘What makes you qualified to do so?’”

After students pick an application up, which concludes the criteria, MCHS principal Dr. Jeff Prickett calls the students into his office to go over their main idea. From there the students have to face a committee.

“There are three students and then two teachers that listen to your speech,” said Ten Bruin. “They have a rubric saying how good you are at speaking and your message. Then they give you some feedback on what they thought about your speech.”

The contestants get split in half after the first round of the application process. They then have people help edit the students speech so it can be the best in order to win. Whoever passes makes it to the finals and then they audition again against the same people to choose a winner.

“I made it to the finals and then became the finalist,” said Lomeli. “I just really wanted to be able to say something to a lot of these kids because I moved so I grew up with the Parkland and McHenry Middle School kids. I felt like I was able to give flashbacks to both. I thought I was a really good candidate for that.”

Hundreds of people attended graduation, one of the few times it has been held outside allowing for more room. Students practiced for graduation the day before, along with the students who had been practicing their speeches.

“It’s a very weird feeling and bittersweet. I’m happy because it’s done,” said Ten Bruin. “I can move on with my life, but it’s also, I have to move on with my life. I’ve spent these past 12 years in the same place with the same people, and now I’m going six and a half hours away. It feels like you’re grieving your childhood a little bit.”

Graduation is an emotional day for so many and especially for the graduation speaker. She holds her classmates very dear to her heart and it is the many reasons she signed up for the graduation speech.

“You are so excited to leave, but it’s a day to be sentimental one more time,¨said Lomeli. “You’re leaving the people you grew up with, I’m not gonna see half of them. It was nice to at least say it was an honor growing up with you.”

As Lomeli steps down from her speech she smiles feeling confident. Looking at the crowd she sees so many familiar faces smiling and tearing up. Clapping starts slowly and she knows she has done her farewell exactly as planned. Then she walks amongst her peers for the last time.