Students, families and friends attending the Port Colborne High School Class of 2014’s graduation ceremony were treated to a wonderful address by the class Valedictorian Jagger Romanyk during the school’s commencement ceremony on June 26th.
The son of Dolly and Randy Romynyk used a "Transformers" theme throughout his speech below.
"WOW!!! You know I’m pretty sure if I looked up Valedictorian in the dictionary my picture would definitely not be under it. Anyway here it goes….
Teachers, Parents and Family, Honoured Guests and fellow students I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for the enormous honour and amazing privilege of being Port Colborne High School's Valedictorian for the class of 2014.
As I look across at my graduating class I reflect back 4 years….walking through the front door to register and thinking Oh Boy…everything looks so scary and so big, the only thing all of us have in common is that we have no idea what we have gotten ourselves into. I was fortunate enough to have my big bro there to show me the ropes but found out quite quickly it was up to me to make friends and to get to know my teachers and to put the Jagger stamp on Port High.
Before I get started I would just like to thank each and every one of you who brought me to this podium today, all of my fellow classmates and all the wonderful teachers and Staff, especially those of who were not opposed to taking bribes. Just kidding, you know who you are.
A wise man once said “You may lose your faith in us but never in yourselves from here the fight will be your own.” This wise man was Optimus Prime from the Transformers. Prime is much like our own Mr. Evans. Perhaps not the booming deep voice but instead, in the way he believes in everybody and is a true leader himself. He has set the standard for each of us to achieve our best. He has taught us to have faith in ourselves and in our ability even if those around us lose sight of our potential.
Mr. Evans, like Prime, has a number of sidekicks who assist him in leading us to save the earth. These sidekicks all act as mentors to each of us and have aided in bringing out our best and even sometimes our worst. I must begin with our own Ratchet, Vic Barker. He has spent the last four years mentoring so many of us to do as the famous Ratchet does and we have proven our fame in the glory of our welding championships. We leave this building with the ability to repair beaten and broken cars and engines, create the most invaluable of tools in readiness for the battle and leave with a sense that no matter how beaten and broken we sometimes have been ourselves, Mr. Barker has been there to patch us back together.
Other staff as well have prepared us for the deepest, darkest moments that may be ahead. Consider the game strategy that Mr Adamek or Iron Hide has taught us. He, like all good leaders, prepares his team before he prepares himself. He has pushed us to meet challenges that we did not feel ready for, but somehow we came out on top of the game. PCHS has proven this through our numerous OFSAA and SOSSA champions. Similarly, Ms Yee, Ms. McBride, Mrs. Edwards and Mrs Carl, beat into us that we could accomplish what appeared to be overwhelming by breaking down the big game into smaller battles that could be overcome. Mr. Cairns moved us to a different level of thinking by fighting the ultimate battle and inspiring each of us to think beyond ourselves. In contrast, I must now apologize to Mr. Longley for the carnage in his physed classes where we personally made them our ultimate battle field.
Sometimes we need to understand that all battles may not go our way. Mr. Grover, or should I say Star Scream, tested us like the most obnoxious army sergeant could. Every day I was told to drop out of school and go work on the oil rigs in the Middle east by Mr. Grover. I know, deep down in his heart this was just a test of my inner strength. Mr. Raso and Mr. Coers similarly would bring each of us to our breaking point, I am sure in order to build our emotional strength. We must thank them for that.
This leads me to the quest hero, Sam, which is each of you. He develops strength throughout his journey, learns that he has the inner fortitude to take on any challenge, gathers sidekicks along the way to help him battle in his quest, and finds a mighty sweat female counterpart. There are many lessons that can be learned from Sam. You need to accept the unbelievalbe just as Sam did when he met the autobots. Perhaps there is life beyond earth. Always choose to fight the great battles with someone who is willing to fight to the death with you. Know that everyone of you will meet alien beings in your future, that everyone is not the same and that even you may be looked at as odd. Also be aware that women are not the maidens in distress needing to be rescued. Sam chose to fight side by side with Mikaela. You too will find a strong, vibrant partner who will support you, beat you and remind you that you are human every day.
Up to this point in your lives we have had McBride as our Bumblebee who acts as our guardian protector but now we need to find our own. When you leave this building be on the look out for your new protector, or perhaps you will find your own old used car that will drive up to you and choose you to join in his or her battle. Recognize that there will be the Agent Simmons, or Raso's of life who appear patriotic, take their role overly seriously and are rather obnoxious. In the end know that “fate rarely calls upon us at a moment of our choosing” Be ready for the great battle of your life knowing that PCHS has prepared you well.
To sum up, “The greatest weakness of most humans is their hesitancy to tell others how they love them while they are alive.” Before you leave this building thank your family members and supporters and tell them that you love them and then watch them cry tears of joy. You are ready for the road. Take a path and don't look back. Being a blue bear means never backing down from challenges put before you, always giving the best you’ve got, and always taking pride in what you do.