I know that we are prepared for the new challenges outside of the comforts of our beloved yellow brick building.

May 31, 2018


Photo Credit: Kat Kelly/Used with Permission

Martinez will be attending the University of Florida in the fall

Good evening. I would like to welcome Mr. Raimo, Mrs. Nitchals, Mrs. Krukar, faculty, staff, and all of our family and friends to the Class of 2018’s graduation ceremony. Thank you for being here to witness that the Class of 2018 has perfect attendance tonight.

Academy is a special school. Here we have learned how to be independent, but also interdependent; how to succeed and celebrate our success, but also how to fail and to grow from it; how to laugh and how to cry, sometimes at the same time; and perhaps most importantly, we have learned what it means to be a family. Freshman year all the upperclassmen would talk about the sisterhood and how special it is and for a while I didn’t believe that the illusive sisterhood could actually exist. Needless to say, I was mistaken. The sisterhood does exist. We saw it during spirit week, when we all cheered on Alex and Maddie as they danced to “Hotline Bling”; at Junior Ring, when we received the symbol of our sisterhood; at senior retreat when we recalled specific moments when someone had brought light to our day; and even at Baccalaureate as we all applauded everyone’s accomplishments while fanning our neighbor who was about to pass out.

After four years, we have all come to consider Academy a second home. Inside the yellow brick walls, we have found the place where we are comfortable to not brush our hair, to eat a cupcake, two brownies, and multiple cookies during a ten-minute break, and to break out in song in the middle of the hallway. We have gotten used to seeing the sunrise on Bayshore during our morning drive and sitting with our best friends every day at lunch. We have bonded with upper and under classmen and have probably called a teacher mom on accident at some point.

I would like to thank all of the people that have brought us to this stage today. To all the teachers and administrators, thank you for always pushing us to reach a higher standard of excellence and for showing us compassion when we were struggling. Your constant support, even when we were probably driving you insane, is what has made our education so incredible. We will never forget your invaluable lessons both in and out of the classroom, but the one I know I will be taking with me to college is the famous metaphor for procrastination we learned in chemstry: SALAMI.

To our parents, thank you for supporting us through the tears, the late nights, the long drives, the stress, and for celebrating our achievements with us, no matter how big or small they are. We love you and really appreciate everything you have done for us, even if we don’t always say it. Thank you for always doing what’s best for us, especially in sending us to Academy. We recognize all the sacrifices you have made for us and we are truly grateful.

Lastly, to all of my sisters sitting on this stage. You have all taught me more than I could have ever learned in a textbook. Thank you for allowing me to be myself, for being there no matter what, and for every happy memory that you created in these past four years. You are all so special and have so many incredible talents that I have been blessed to witness in the past four years.

Looking forward, I am excited for what is to come and I am confident that Academy has set us up for success in the future. But I am also terrified to leave. The past four years have been spent in a place where my teachers care about my success, where I don’t have to think about what clothes to wear, because I have my white polo hanging in the closet waiting to be thrown on, and where if I am having a bad day, I just have to step into the hallway and there will be someone there to cheer me up. However, I see the passion and the confidence which we all have, and the fear subsides slightly, because I know that we are prepared for the new challenges outside of the comforts of our beloved yellow brick building.

Congratulations Class of 2018. I love you all. Thank you.




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