Valedictory Dux Speech—Stuart Houstoun Kilcoy State High School

Valedictory Dux Speech—Stuart Houstoun Kilcoy State High School

Category : General News

Valedictory Dux Speech—Stuart Houstoun Good morning, Class of 2017, teachers, staff, parents, special guests, and the rest of the student body who are stuck here listening to me. Hopefully I shall finish this address without hyperventilating, having an emotional breakdown or just boring you all out. Before I shine the spotlight on my own cohort (really, you’ve had enough attention this week, already), I’d like to pay my respects to everyone who is responsible for getting us to this stage. Parents, you have been the backbone helping our success; encouraging, assisting, threatening us to be our greatest and I hope that we in turn will use your advice to live our lives in ways that don’t disappoint you. Teachers. I must say that Kilcoy has been overserved an abundance of wonderful teachers who have always made sure we reached our goals (or their goals, if ours were lacking). You were a bunch of really nice people and I hope we have nothing but fond memories of you.

I’d like to also give a special shout-out to Mr Aitchison who has announced his retirement at the end of this year. He’s a good bloke who shared his deep passion for his subject (considering it was maths) and had to tolerate all the jokes and memes we made. Cheers, sir. Our thanks must also go to the principals and all the administration staff for organising this school, and whatever else it is they do in the office, but it must be important. To the Class of 2017, I’d like to bestow a “Suggestion from Stuey”. In 1967, Martin Luther King Jr. once said: “If it falls your lot to be a street sweeper, sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures. Sweep streets like Shakespeare wrote poetry. Sweep streets like Beethoven composed music. Sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will have to pause and say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.’” A hint for the rest of life: you don’t need to be smart or wise or knowledgeable in any particular area. It’s all about Botheredness. (Yep, I just made that word up) As simple as it sounds, you just need to be bothered about stuff.

If you can’t be bothered, then you actually can’t do anything. Luther King’s street sweeper is stuck in a crummy job that pays little wages and little respect, but he is bothered enough to work his hardest in his rubbish situation even if he expects no reward. And if that means for us to be bothered enough to drop social occasions for study, to work your hardest at IGA for that job promotion or to stay up for a whole night to reach your highest score at Tetris, then that is what you should be bothered to do. (Okay, maybe not the Tetris one). We’re leaving what I’ve been told are the “Best Years of Our Lives”. Taking our first brave (or terrified) steps into adulthood. But I’m sure greater times are still to come (better than assignments and exams anyway) and as a wise sci-fi TV series once taught me, “What’s the point in growing up if you can’t be childish sometimes”. Wrapping up, I’d like to say that I’m not going to miss assessments or that really long bell or the crammed bus rides. But I am going to miss all the teachers I made bonds with, all of my fellow students and close friends and all of the enjoyable experiences I have had within this school. But as Dr Seuss advised: “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.”

Thank you everyone and may God bless your futures.


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