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Manteno Salutatorian - Nora Crockett
Posted On:
Monday, May 22, 2017
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Bio and Address

Manteno High School announces Nora Crockett as one of three salutatorians for the class of 2017. Nora is the daughter of Cindy and Todd Crockett. While attending Manteno High School she has been activity in student council and was project manager of “Makin Jars” the 2017 Junior Achievements Company of the Year and was recently awarded a $5000 scholarship for her contributions. She is a four year member of the Panther Volleyball program earning all-conference and all-area recognition for the past two years. This 2017 Illinois State Scholar will be attending Texas Christian University majoring in finance.


Good afternoon everyone! I would like to first start out by saying how truly honored I am to have this opportunity to speak with you all on the achievements, memories, and futures of the Class of 2017! For all the families, friends, teachers, and administrators sitting in the crowd today, I think I can speak for our entire class when I say that we are beyond thankful for everything that you have done for us throughout the past 18 years of our lives. We would not be the successful and accomplished young adults we have become if it weren’t for your direction and wisdom. You have molded us, prepared us, and given us the skills necessary to take on this crazy world. It is now our time to apply what we have learned and step forth into the next chapter of our lives. Yes Mom and Dad, this means you must let go now, even though I know how much you want me to stay your little girl forever.

    Here we stand, my fellow classmates, at the brink of the future, with its fate in the palm of our hands. With 13 years of schooling and 17 or 18 years of life behind us, we have endured the scars and bruises of adolescence, the embarrassment of puberty and first crushes, the painful stomach aches of school lunches, and the gut-wrenching stench of the locker rooms. Somehow, I myself still wonder how, we have overcome these great adversities and have conquered childhood. We have grown in knowledge and proficiency, at least enough to fill in the little bubbles labeled A to D. We stand on the edge of endless possibilities, ready to leave the known, but nervous to take on the unknown. Ahead of us is life. Ahead of us are amazing experiences ready to be had, many memories waiting to be created, and opportunities eager to be seized. Though with a little fear and apprehension, we are ready to embark on the great adventure that is life. Our lives up until this point have been rather simple, each grade leading to the next, each chapter leading to a test, and each English class leading to a nap. Our lives have been mapped out by our parents and teachers, decisions mostly made out of our control. But now, now we have the opportunity to take our lives by the reigns, with boundless freedom and potential, and the ability to shape our futures into one that is solely our own.

    Classmates, today marks the first day of the rest of our lives, but so does yesterday and so does tomorrow and the day after that. We must decide when we want to start living and stop just existing. It is easy for one to state that their life shall be great, but become distracted by the stresses of adult life, and then fall into quiet contentment. The next thing you know, 10 years go by and your dreams are still just figments of your imagination. To achieve these personal goals and ambitions, we must never lose sight of them and strive each day to move forward towards success. Though failures will arise and obstacles will be faced, we will overcome and use them to create motivation for future endeavors, for the only true failure we can ever experience is allowing these setbacks to defeat us. There is no such thing as a lack of success, only a lack of determination. Sometimes luck may arise or factors will play into our lives in ways we cannot predict, shifting our dreams and goals, steering our ambition in a different direction, and leaving past intentions unfulfilled. Unachieved goals are better than ones never started, for we are always better for having pursued them.

    In one sense, success can be looking back on your life at 80 years old with no regrets. You do not want to live your life constantly contemplating the what-ifs or the what-could-have-beens. We are human, which means we will make mistakes and many of them, but we must not let these mistakes consume our being, for we will lose sight of the future, and the present. Though I have previously challenged you to dream big and stay ambitious, I also challenge you to live in the moment and truly appreciate the minutes and hours and days you have with your friends, family, and the ones who mean the most to you, because as we have learned throughout the past year, these moments are numbered. Gone are the days of Friday night football games and running out onto the field to form a tunnel with your best friends; gone is feeling the electricity and excitement of the fans as you sing the school song after every touchdown. Gone are the moments we shared with one another at homecomings, proms, the senior trip, and now here today are minutes together are dwindling. Though we each have great memories that we will one day tell our children, did we truly live everyday of high school in the moment? I know I didn't. While fantasizing about the future and my life to come, I lost time that I could have been creating connections and deep friendships with people around me. Though planning and dreaming are important, I challenge you to not let the next year, 3 years, 5 years, even 10 years pass you by. Make every moment count. Step outside your comfort zone and try something new (as long as it is legal), for that is where true adventures lie. Dream big, but stay grounded and don't forget to thank the people who help you along the way. And most of al,l stay true to yourself and your morals. Don't conform to society in order to fit in. Individuality is rare in today’s world so embrace your uniqueness and take pride in your talents and abilities, because they are what will set you apart from the crowd.

The future of the Class of 2017 is extremely bright and filled with endless potential. Who knows, maybe the next Michael Jordan, Albert Einstein, or John F. Kennedy is sitting right here in front of us. The only limit on our future is the extent of our imaginations. Again thank you so much for this opportunity and congratulations to the Class of 2017!

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