Let the Graduation Changes Commence


Graduation commencement speakers (left to right): Martine Royds, Shreya Gorawala and Vivi Vergara-Anglim.

This year, administration decided to change up graduation. Traditionally, the commencement speakers have been the valedictorian and salutatorian. This year they were chosen by a committee. The speakers are Viviana Vergara-Anglim, Martine Royds and Shreya Gorawala.

Vivi said she was told administrators wanted the speakers to “speak on behalf of all different types of students.”  When she applied she tried to convey that she wants the senior class to “leave high school with a sense of accomplishment and importance, and to just wrap up this culminating event in a nice way.”  

In previous years, the valedictorian and the salutatorian of the class would write a speech, get it checked and speak. However, this year, the top 10% of the class was allowed to submit an application detailing their activities, why they were a good fit and what they would say in their speech. Then a select few–five people this year–were interviewed by a panel of teachers and administration. This included principals and counselors as well as teachers and club advisers who work with these students. The questions ranged from what they would speak about to what props they would bring.

From there, Vivi, Martine and Shreya were chosen. They are all a little nervous to speak, but they are also very excited.

“I didn’t think I would be able to do this beforehand, and I’m excited that I was afforded the opportunity,” said Martine. “I feel honored to be one of the speakers. I was happily surprised to be picked, especially because I wouldn’t even have been a contender.”

When looking back on their time at Hatboro-Horsham, they see not only the challenges and hurdles in the road, but also the positive aspects.

Shreya said, “Being a part of HH was amazing mostly because of the people here and the relationships I made with my peers and teachers.”

Martine felt the same: “I’m very glad I went here. I learned a lot and grew a lot over my four years.”

Vivi says that HH has given her the tools to succeed while giving her the freedom to independently figure out who she was. 

To future speakers, all three of them say the same thing: be confident. Be confident in yourself and your speaking skills.

“It’s all about believing in what you are saying. Even if you are not feeling confident, project it and you’ll start believing in yourself,” said Martine. 

“Make sure to do it for the right reasons,” Vivi said.

“Write something genuine, because it will feel most natural to say in front of a large crowd,” Shreya said.

And to future seniors, they all found that senior year flies by, so they said to enjoy it as much as you can.