Rebekah Hales and Murphy Daniels gave this fantastic Valedictorians' speech at the 2015 Presentation Evening:
Before you finally get rid of us, we would like our fellow Year 12s to cast their minds back to Year 9. Everybody else, just use your imagination.
In Year 9, we were asked to pick a motto for our school. Being Year 9s, we honestly didn't care what it was and didn't really see the point of having one in the first place. And unfortunately our options were in English, not the high class Latin. In the end we all just picked whatever sounded the best at the time, or selected one at random. Either way, a few weeks later we were introduced to “Together We Grow”, a rather cliche three words that rivalled the Year 9 program’s slogan “It’s Up 2 Me”.
This new branding of the school was one of the many changes that we have been a part of. With the introduction of Rhonda Holt as principal, Elwood’s image certainly changed for the better. We have watched the Science and Language centre being built from the ground up and the introduction of a new uniform, although we have to say we’re not sad to see those yellow sport tops gone. We’re now allowed entrance into the mysterious Brighton Bay area after four years of wondering what was beyond the doors at the end of C block. And we’ve spent many hours of procrastination on the couches in what was once the library and is now our home as the VCE Centre. Although Elwood is going through constant changes, and will continue to throughout the next few years, we’re glad to say that we have retained that special spirit that makes Elwood such an amazing school.
And all the amazing new house events that we’ve been a part of. Since our first year we’ve seen magical performances, heated debates and incredible athletic ability, which has taken many of us to represent our school against other districts and regions. This is a tribute to the enormous talent we have, but more importantly, our incredible sense of teamwork. Seeing all levels of the school participate in House events with the true desire to conquer all other houses is such an amazing experience. The House captains this year have done an unbelievable job in cheering on all students with pride and providing never-ending support.
We would like to extend our thanks not only to the teachers who have dragged us along all year, but to the teachers who worked so hard to get us to this stage. We understand now that we really have come a long, long, way and it’s because of every single teacher here at Elwood, past and present.
This year we couldn't have done anything without our one and only School Captains. Being the super-organised year level that we totally aren’t, these two kept us all on track. Maddy and Taylor, you’ve both been amazing this year, organising everything behind the scenes and representing our school with pride and respect every single day. We couldn’t have asked for a better, more suited pair for the job. Thank you from all of us.
Also, we are under contractual obligation to thank all of our parents, so thanks. Your hard work doesn’t go unnoticed and we are forever in debt for all the support you have given us throughout our schooling lives.
To the students; from those who are just in Year 7 to the Year 11s looking ahead to their final year of school, enjoy Elwood as much as possible. Take part in the house events. Have a role in the school play. Jump on your bike and go on the Great Victorian Bike Ride or even ride the slopes at Ski Camp. Be sure not to take anything for advantage, because when you finish, you recognise how truly amazing it was. So even in the times where the stress of getting that assignment in is killing you, try your very best to enjoy Elwood College for the amazing school that it is.
Now, though it's bitter-sweet, it's time for us to say goodbye. This may be the last time us Year 12s have the opportunity to be together as a cohort. So, from the bottom of our hearts, we personally want to thank every person in the graduating year of 2015. Through thick and thin we have been able to create and retain friendships that we will keep for a lifetime.
Strangely enough, even though we once thought it was daggy and we were disappointed that it wasn’t in some funky dead language, “Together, we really did grow”.