Reed High used the cohesive combination of co-Valedictorians Eduardo Martinez Medina and Matthew Smith to inspire the crowd of graduates. Martinez Medina put his focus on the future as he spoke to the Lawlor Events Center crowd, saying that high school graduation is only a testament of what is expected in the future.
“Today is not our greatest moment,” Martinez Medina said. “All today is, is proof of our potential and a sample of what’s to come. It demonstrates to everyone, and most importantly to us, that we have the resolve, the desire and the academic fire to conquer the future.”
Martinez Medina compared the future path of life to a river hosting plenty of bends, rapids and branches that the class will come upon. He said the class was determined to endure, even when the river “chews us up and spits us back out,” and he noted that mistakes would be an evident part of the future.
“Unfortunately, someday we are going to take a wrong turn on this river and we will regret it. We must learn how to not repeat those actions,” he said. “We must correct them and we must move forward toward our destination. We should never fear adversity, but rather welcome it and meet it head on because in reality it only serves as a benefit for us.”
Smith followed up Martinez Medina by bringing some humor into the mix, pretending he was giving his inauguration speech for the Presidential Election of 2044. The Reed High community was no stranger to Smith’s aspirations and belted plenty of laughs his way.
Smith said instead of choosing to layout some of his campaign platforms he wanted to talk about what he “actually learned in high school.”
“I am not talking about biology or trig because I know we are never going to use that again,” Smith said, receiving an applause from his classmates and adding some of his main points. “Don’t be afraid to be different. When I came into high school, I was very insecure about myself and I was so worried about what other people thought about me, but I realized that you can’t ever be happy if you are just worried about what other people think about you.”
Smith went on to say that achieving high accomplishments comes with the responsibility to help others and pass on the success as a learning tool.
“It is important to be humble,” Smith said. “If you are the best at something ... you are not better than anyone else, you simply have the obligation to help those around you. This applies all over.
“I say you don’t get respect by being the best at something and rubbing it in everyone else’s face, you get respect by working as hard as you can for yourself and helping everyone else around you with what you learn.”
Reed's Class of 2013 Salutatorian, Cody Forman, took the podium to wrap another set of important high school takeaways: memories.
“Some people say that your best memories come from your high school years,” Forman said, “But I say why do the great memories have to end there? After high school, we go off to college and we are going to party, with our study groups of course. Let’s face it, we are going to procrastinate. Then we will graduate college and think to ourselves again ‘where did the last four years go?’”
Forman closed by highlighting the value of friendship, and the relationships that are formed in high school, college and throughout life, being one of the most important things to keep in mind as the door to the future opens.
“One of the greatest lessons I have ever learned is the value of friendship,” Forman said. “Everyone out there has one of those friends who is going to get you into situations that you think are absolutely ridiculous, crazy and pointless, but those are the memories you are going to want to keep the rest of your lives. Keep them close and make those same kinds of friends in the near future.”