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Home / SCHOOLS / SPEECH NOTES – LAST OLV GRADUATION June 12, 2009

SPEECH NOTES – LAST OLV GRADUATION June 12, 2009

SAYING GOODBYE TO OLV FOREVER Despite our attempts to prevent the closure of Our Lady of Victories, the OLV community had to endure having to say goodbye to a place we all called home. At one time in our lives, the hallowed Hallways provided a special environment and it will always be a part of us. We had reunions prior to its closing, get togethers and special meetings with classmates....ultimately, we had to prepare for the final graduating class. We had to use the words " THE LAST EVER". While it was a sad period for the school, we wanted to…

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SAYING GOODBYE TO OLV FOREVER

Despite our attempts to prevent the closure of Our Lady of Victories, the OLV community had to endure having to say goodbye to a place we all called home. At one time in our lives, the hallowed Hallways provided a special environment and it will always be a part of us.

We had reunions prior to its closing, get togethers and special meetings with classmates….ultimately, we had to prepare for the final graduating class. We had to use the words ” THE LAST EVER”.

While it was a sad period for the school, we wanted to make sure that the students understood that the future was bright for them and that although this one door closed, there will be many other doors that will open for them.  They will soon be OLV ALUMNI and will have many things to accomplish like many before them, except that they have the distinction of being a member of the last graduating class at Our Lady of Victories.

Leading to June 12th 2009, I was given the opportunity by Mrs. Patricia Byrnes ( my 8th grade teacher when I was at OLV) to deliver the graduation speech.  Although it was a bittersweet moment, it was such an honor and remain one of my best experiences.

See below the photos and notes from the graduation speech I presented to the last graduating class at Our Lady of Victories. I focused on the family theme….paid tribute to the parents and teachers….and then the students themselves.

I walked in last right behind Mr. Mason and it felt as if I put the past behind me by being the last person in behind the graduating class. As sad as I felt, I felt closure after giving the speech and haven been given the opportunity to address the last graduating class and present the last graduation speech at an Our Lady of Victories graduation.

The alumni reunion was great and being able to say “goodbye” and “thank you” to the teachers that helped me to develop as a young adult was priceless. I am deeply honored and can’t thank OLV enough for what it has done for many of us.

Eduardo Pena

 

INTRO

· Welcome

THEME-WE ARE FAMILY

· Clichés/other traditional terms

· Our Lady of Victories

o Our foundation

o SHARE SOME HISTORY

o Personal Bio

· Family Tree

o Parent-Ask them to stand up

o Teachers-Ask them to stand up

o Student accomplishments-highlight, ask them to stand up

· Our Lady of Victories

o Our foundation

o SHARE SOME HISTORY

o Personal Bio

· What happens now?

o Face the challenge of high school

o Lyrics

o WE LOVE YOU OLV

June 12, 2009

Good evening everyone.

Bishop Donato, Father Hanbury, Father Vic, the entire Our Lady of Victories faculty, parents and all the other dignitaries that are here this evening to participate in the celebration of the 2009 Graduating Class of Our Lady of Victories.

Not sure if you knew this, but I was once an alter boy and had many chances to speak to the Lord on a more personal level at the alter during masses. For fear of falling asleep and getting yelled at by Father Swenson, I thought I’d make conversation with the Lord and share with him my dreams and aspirations…….well, would you believe it? ….one of my wishes was to one day get an opportunity to be the guest speaker at an OUR LADY OF VICTORIES GRADUATION CEREMONY…………………………… I simply asked the Lord to give me the chance to be a guest speaker some day and allow me to share whatever wisdom I pick up during high school and college so that the audience can learn a few things from me.

Since that fateful day in the 8th grade when I asked for the chance to be a speaker at an OLV Graduation, many things have happened……….I enjoyed many of lifes milestones and took each step moving forward, starting with the OLV Graduation night in 1986, after that I graduated from Hudson Catholic High School, after that I graduated from Penn State University, worked for Disney World, Hyatt Hotels and now Toys R Us, bought my first car, became a husband and became a proud father of two beautiful children….A lot has happened…

Fast forward to 2009, I finally got my wish and got an invitation by Mrs. Byrnes to be the guest speaker. I’m somewhat stuck with words and not certain what I should really be saying …………One would think that I had 23 years to practice, I stand here with humility and wonder to myself “ What profound thoughts can I share with this fine group”……”what advise can I share with 8th grade students ready to enter into high school”………”what moment in my life will be special enough to have a meaningful impact for the future leaders of America?”..

Well, After 23 years of waiting to be a guest speaker at Our Lady of Victories, there’s only one thing running through my mind right now:

FAMILY !! ……….I’m painting a picture of a family.

A family made up teachers, parents and the students celebrating…….A family celebrating a major milestone in life…..and it starts with a home.

That Home away from home is a special place that has helped to create many special memories….that home away from home for all of us as students and teachers is Our Lady of Victories at 240 EGE AVENUE. It’s the gold building with the ornate frontage, awesome handball courts and enough history to write several novels. If a movie was made today about OLV, it would win an OSCAR…….It’s the home of the VIPERS, blue and gold and one that we will never forget……..

Opened on September 30, 1930 by the Sisters of Charity, Our Lady of Victories provided one of the best educational experiences in town and have seen many of it’s graduates move on to higher education. Tonight, you have the honor of being the last graduating class of Our Lady of Victories and carry with you the legacy of those before you…………..but before I get too serious and emotional, let’s reminisce.

First of all, I love that Mrs. Byrnes, Mrs. Krassner, Mrs. Debenedictis, Mrs.Zuppa ( Mrs. Garrone ) and Mr. Mason all still look the same since I last saw them in 1986. They, along with the entire faculty have proven their dedication to us as students.

During our reunion last Sunday, we had the chance to catch up with alumni and talk about our DUDE RANCH TRIPS, Singing Supercalifragilisticexpeolodocious during CANTATA night, hearing Puff the magic dragon during Miss Krassner’s class and learning how to do a 360 degree turn during gymdolly. There were so many memories….then there was mention that this years field trip to the Philadelphia Zoo was awesome, there was a lot crying at the LAST OFFICIAL OLV school dance, there was the online competition that took place nationwide with Mrs. Debenedictis?

What were some of your memorable times here at OLV??? Think about and treasure it forever…………… There’s too many to go over, but that school we call home and the people who occupy will officially be the theme of my speech tonight.

The teachers and faculty at Our Lady of Victories have laid the foundation for learning and what you’ve learned in the classroom during these past eight years will continue to be used. Although you can’t thank your teachers enough, you can always appreciate them by practicing what they’ve taught you. Once in a while, I can still see Mr. Mason saying to us” KEEP IT CLEAN, BE FAIR”…………or on occasion, I get flashbacks of the homeroom bell being rung…….Every experience you’ve had at Our Lady of Victories will make an impact in your life……

Of course you can’t get started without your parents………they gave birth to you, made sure they picked the right school so you have the best education, they excercised tough love on occasion……..

You know what…..May I have the parents of the graduates and the entire OLV faculty please stand up……???? Graduates, let’s give this group a round of applause. Let’s recognize that family of teachers and parents played a major role in the home……thank them for loving you so much that they worked hard to make sure you graduated.

Let’s highlight the accomplishments that members of this years graduating class have achieved. While we recognize some of the individual achievements, the accomplishments may be tributed to the collaborative effort between the students, the parents and teachers. As a team, we can celebrate the graduates tonight and be proud.

· Jethro, Zine, Robert, Jonathan and Jackie were finalists in the Forensics Tournament at Hudson Catholic. Jackie, our valedictorian won 2nd place in Original Oratory

· Joan, one of the two salutatorians was one of 27 students whose artwork was chosen nationally for the Holy Childhood Christmas card and displayed at the Cathedral in Washington DC.

· Nikko participated in the Hudson County Spelling Bee

· Who is in the National Junior Honor Society? This group organized a food and clothing drive for our local food pantry.

Now what? What happens to the family?

As the graduating class of 2009, you have the world in your hands. You now have the chance to take everything you’ve learned and bring the spirit of OLV wherever life takes you.

This is the only beginning……………………

In honor of the family at OLV…………..I want to share an excerpt of the lyrics from the Class of 1986 Graduation song. It captures what I believe the OLV teachers and faculty truly believed in and why they dedicated their lives to us…………..

The lyrics are from the song GREATEST LOVE OF ALL by WHITNEY HOUSTON

I believe the children are our future

Teach them well and let them lead the way

Show them all the beauty they possess inside

Give them a sense of pride to make it easier…………

Congratulations and best wishes to all of you….Thank you OLV, we are forever greatful.

****************T H E   E N D********************

GREATEST LOVE OF ALL by WHITNEY HOUSTON

I believe the children are our future

Teach them well and let them lead the way

Show them all the beauty they possess inside

Give them a sense of pride to make it easier…………

Let the children’s laughter remind us how we used to be

Everybody’s searching for a hero

People need someone to look up to

I never found anyone who fulfilled my needs

A lonely place to be

And so I learned to depend on me

I decided long ago, never to walk in anyone’s shadows

If I fail, if I succeed at least I live as I believe

No matter what they take from me

They can’t take away my dignity

Because the greatest love of all is happening to me

I found the greatest love of all inside of me

The greatest love of all is easy to achieve

Learning to love yourself, it is the greatest love of all

I believe the children are our future

Teach them well and let them lead the way

Show them all the beauty they possess inside

Give them a sense of pride to make it easier

Let the children’s laughter remind us how we used to be

I decided long ago, never to walk in anyone’s shadows

If I fail, if I succeed at least I live as I believe

No matter what they take from me

They can’t take away my dignity

Because the greatest love of all is happening to me

I found the greatest love of all inside of me

The greatest love of all is easy to achieve

Learning to love yourself, it is the greatest love of all

And if by chance that special place

That you’ve been dreaming of

Leads you to a lonely place

Find your strength in love

 

<photo id=”1″ /><photo id=”2″ /><photo id=”3″ /><photo id=”5″ /><photo id=”6″ /><photo id=”7″ />My little man Mr. Mason and Mrs. Krassner  Mrs. Zuppa, Mr. Mason and Mrs. Krassner OLV TEACHERS and STAFF The Anchor Team to close out Our Lady of Victories Leading the graduates Mr. Mason   An honor to give the speech at the last and final OLV graduation. Father Vic in the background The Children are the Future 4761_111459082245_347541_n Mrs. Byrnes Beautiful Church Many memories at OLV

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