San Benito seniors say their farewells

Bryce Eggers

San Benito High School

Class of 2018 Co-Valedictorian

Good morning, Class of 2018. I am truly honored to be able to speak in front of you guys. Now, I have a lot to say, but I’ll try to speak fast because I know that most of you want to hurry up and graduate as soon as possible. We’ve all put in our time, and we are all ready to run full speed into the future. And who can blame us? As a class, our future is bright.

I took stats, so you can trust me when I tell you that there is sufficient evidence to suggest that that the Class of 2018 is the best class this school has ever seen. We had over a thousand college admissions. Hundreds of us will go on to graduate from college, and some will push their education even further in graduate school. Some of us will develop their skills in trade schools, and still others will serve their country by entering the armed forces. No matter what path we take, the Class of 2018 will be able to have a huge impact on our communities, and maybe even the world.

We are all ready to be done with high school, but someday in the future, when you are living your dream, someone is going to ask you, “Where did you go to high school?” Despite what your present-day self might expect, you will proudly reply, “I am a Haybaler!” They will give you a confused look, and they’ll probably ask if you’re joking, but you’ll be proud of where you came from because no matter where your road leads, your journey began here. Maybe it was a teacher who inspired you to pursue a certain subject, or maybe it was a class that convinced you that a specific career path was right for you. Maybe it was a club that revealed some of your hidden talents, and above all, it was probably your friends and family who encouraged and supported you as you made your plans for the future.

So, as you sit there daydreaming about what you’re going to do the second graduation ends, don’t forget to thank the people who made those dreams possible. As a group of high school students who came before us once said, “We are all in this together, and it shows that when we stand, hand in hand, we’ll make our dreams come true. Together, together, together, everyone. Together, together, come on, let’s have some fun.”


Aeja Rosette

San Benito High School

Class of 2018 Co-Valedictorian

It’s hard to believe this time has really come and that I’m really up here about to give my “farewell, high school” speech. The last four years have flown by so, so quickly; it seems like only a couple years ago we were all standing on senior mound as freshman at link crew orientation.

For four years we threw ourselves into all the exciting opportunities at San Benito High. We joined clubs, we founded new clubs. We played sports and we quit sports. We tutored dozens of kids at Mars Hill for hours after school. We made friends and lost friends, met new people and reconnected with familiar faces. We screamed the word “Balers” over and over again at football games. We watched people wrestle in sumo suits at rallies and watched classmates sink as we won the cardboard boat races. We painted Leonardo di Caprio and Hank the Haybaler for rallies, and we painted over 50 graduation caps with the accomplishments, inspirations and future colleges of this incredible senior class. We’ve pretty much done it all. The only thing left to do is graduate.

With that, I’d just like to say that I am thankful and proud of everyone sitting here today. To the parents, friends and relatives, thank you for always being here for us. Thank you to the parents, especially Esther, for driving us to school for the years when our friends didn’t have cars, for always cheering us on at all our sports events, and making sure we were on top of all our classes. Thank you to the little siblings, especially mine, for always being our No. 1 fans. I think the class of 2018 would agree with me when I say we couldn’t have done it without you.

To the teachers of San Benito, you’re beyond amazing. Yes, you teach, but you also genuinely want to know how we’re doing every day, you give inspirational speeches, you make sarcastic comments, you bring us muffins before AP tests. So thank you for going above and beyond what’s required, each and every day.

And finally, to the graduating class of 2018, thank you for making high school unforgettable. When I’m all the way in New York City, I will miss you and this place more than I can imagine. You are amazing, and I’m so grateful my time with all of you. Congratulations to all of you for this huge accomplishment. We’re officially high school graduates!


Mylah Smiley

San Benito High School

Class of 2018 Associated Student Body President

Good morning parents, family, friends, staff members, graduation helpers and most importantly, good morning to the class of 2018! My name is Mylah Smiley and I have had the honor of serving as the 2017-2018 Associated Student Body president. I am so glad I have been given the opportunity to speak today. I also am so proud to share this moment with all of my classmates, and on behalf of my class, I would like to thank everyone for attending this morning. This is a huge milestone for us, perhaps the moment you’ve been waiting so anxiously for, or the moment that came too fast.

Before I get into the sappy part of my speech, I would like to thank a couple of people in particular that have really impacted so many lives at San Benito High School.

First off, I would like to thank the woman who is here from sunrise to sunset more often than not. Mrs. Lemos has inspired me throughout my years to be passionate in everything I do. This amazing human would do anything for her students and will always be there to help when anyone is in need.

Next, I would like to thank our wonderful principal, Mr. Ramirez. There are so many things that he has done to make our student voices heard in every way possible. Thank you, Mr. Ramirez, for being open to change and growth at San Benito High School.

Finally, the biggest thank you goes to my loving parents and sister for always pushing me and supporting me throughout these past four years. Even when I didn’t believe in myself, you three were there to remind me of my worth. Thank you for guiding me through the ups and downs of my journey.

Now, graduates, I want to reflect on the journey that began in the fall of 2014.

ASB and the Baler lifestyle was a huge part of my life before I started at San Benito HIgh School. My eighth-grade year I was chosen to be freshman class commissioner, so during my last couple weeks of eighth-grade, I came to the high school Thursday mornings for ASB meetings. I looked around and wondered if I would ever get used to the craziness of Lemos’ room or the outgoing people around me. Little did I know they would become my best friends and I would become one of them. There have been many early mornings and extremely late nights, but it was worth every minute. All of those early mornings led to the best rallies, and the late nights were a great end to amazing dances. Going the extra mile, pushing yourself to do something that seems difficult at first, builds character. The only way to learn is to fail. These are all lessons I learned from ASB. I pushed myself beyond my limits and I grew more than I thought possible.

The greatest achievement made by ASB and our entire community this year was by fundraising for this year’s Benefit Drive. Our community, amazingly, came together and raised over $23,000 for Brett Mattocks. That is the most money ASB has ever raised in the history of the Benefit Drive, and that is thanks to all of you. A huge shout out to every Baler, every community member who spread the word, donated, or just sent love and support. We even had someone donate a Subway gift card during our miracle minute during the Winter Homecoming Rally.

As I stand before you today, I think back to the eighth-grader that sat nervously in room 352 four years ago, and she is a girl I no longer recognize. I’m sure this is true for many of us. At some point during the last four years, we were uncomfortable as we stepped out of our comfort zones. While it was scary, I know it made me a stronger, more confident person. I encourage you all make yourself uncomfortable. Challenge yourself, take risks, put yourselves out there, but don’t forget where you came from.

When you think of San Benito, you will think of the good times. I hope you remember Friday night football games where we bled baler red, ComedySportz, bagels from the red cart, the homecoming dances, the five good restaurants in Hollister, and grad trip, where we were so lucky our buses didn’t break down and nobody got sick. We broke the curse! Most importantly, I hope you remember all the great people that made high school memorable. So many of you made it memorable for me.

While it was fun, high school has also been challenging. We have all had failures and successes, good times and bad times. We have made friends and lost friends. But high school,  even with the failures, losses, and bad times, is child’s play. We have many more challenges to come. I hope you remember the lessons you have learned here and implement them in your life. As we look at all of the great times we had in school, this is the end of one chapter, but also just the start of another. What will we do to create more memories, stronger friendships, to better understand the world? We will have to continue to break out of our comfort zones, whether that be in college, the work force, the military–wherever life leads you. Use your experience, your failures, to your advantage. Try and try until you find success, because I am confident every single one of us will. Thank you, graduates.


Nester Diaz de Leon

San Benito High School

Class of 2018 Senior Class President

Good morning, Balers! Welcome to the graduation of the class of 2018. I am Nestor Diaz de León, class of 2018 senior class president. I want to kick this off by saying a few thank yous. First off I would like to thank my brothers Eddie, Carlos and Tony and my sister Carmen. I would also like to thank Aylin, Alexa, Isaac, Larry and Brian Mendoza and Cici Serrano. Saved the best for last: I want to thank my parents for their limitless support they have given me in my 17 years of living. These people that I just named are the ones who helped shape me into who I am today. if it wasn’t for them, I probably wouldn’t be on stage talking to all of you right now. I would also like to thank all of the parents or guardians and friends who are here to support their friend or sibling or child. I think I speak for everyone when I say we couldn’t have made it here without you. To the staff and administration, thank you for helping us along our four-year trip we call high school. I couldn’t have asked for better teachers throughout my time here at San Benito.

I’d like to address the class of 2018. Everyone give yourselves a round of applause; you did it! Four years of hard work dedication and determination has paid off! Some of you are going to prestigious universities, and for those pursuing their own path after high school, don’t be discouraged by someone going to a university while you’re going to the military or a junior college or a trade school; follow your path they will follow theirs. I look at this graduating class and I see success; this is by far the most intelligent and talented class I’ve seen at this high school. I mean, when you have two people who are so perfect that not even a hundredth of a percent could show a difference between them, that’s something crazy to even think about.

What I’m trying to get at is that each and every one of you sitting here are amazing in your own ways; you each carry something that will make you successful. So as I am nearing the end of my speech, I would just like to say thank you once again to everyone here celebrating our graduation. We’ve come a long way, and now it’s time for us to move on to the next chapter in our life. And with that, thank you, San Benito High School, for the countless memories you’ve given that I will never forget.


Catherine Nordstrom

San Benito High School

Class of 2018 Salutatorian

Normally I am pretty good at pulling an essay out of nowhere, writing essays for English moments before they’re due (Sorry to all my english teachers sitting here now!). However, this is something that I’m struggling to write. It is hard to contain in approximately two to three minutes all the amazing things that this graduating class has done, with the help of all of you–parents and teachers, family and friends.

I’ve had the chance to be a friend and classmate of so many who are currently sitting behind me, and that has been a pleasure. There is an insane amount of potential over here! This bunch of kids are hard workers both in and out of the classroom.

Although all of us have heard the old adage that “if you really try, you can do anything you want in life,” it isn’t a complete truth because I definitely couldn’t be a football star or an expert grammarian. However, for all of the people sitting behind me, you all have strengths that make you the person you are today and that will carry you in the future. You all are going to make something of yourselves and I am honored to have known you all, because I may get the chance to see what each of you do.

Thank you again to everyone who is out here to support the Class of 2018. Keep an eye out in the future, because they’re going to change the world.

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