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Class of 2018 Salutatorian Announcment and Address
Posted On:
Monday, May 21, 2018
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Madison Monk

     Manteno High School announces Madison Monk as the salutatorian for the class of 2018. She plans to study biology at Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington. During her senior year Madison has served as captain of both the volleyball and softball teams for the Panthers. She was a 1st team 2017 all-conference selection for the I-8 in volleyball. She has been active in a variety of school activities, demonstrating her leadership skills in student council. She attended the I-8 leadership conference in 2015. She is a 2018 Illinois State Scholar, a member of the National Honor Society, and has taken several AP courses while at Manteno. Madison has signed with Illinois Wesleyan to play softball for the Titans. She is the daughter of Jennifer and Andrew Monk.

Graduation Address

Dont Be Afraid to Try the Sushi

     Hello Everyone! I would like to start by saying congratulations! We

should all be proud of the accomplishments we have made and obstacles

we have overcome to get to this point. I know we are all going to do great

things with our lives. Whether it be military, the workforce, or maybe even

more schooling, we have many people to thank for helping us get to where we are

today. To our parents- thanks for always being there to support us no matter what we

were doing. We may not show it all the time, but we really do appreciate everything

you do for us. To our teachers- thanks for constantly pushing us to achieve more.

Because of you, we were able to figure out where we want our dreams to take us. To

our friends - thanks for the endless memories. You helped make high school enjoyable

and we hope you stick around to find out whatever happens in the next chapter of our


     As we get ready to move on to that next chapter, I would like to leave you with

some lessons I have learned along the way. The first thing I have learned throughout

my high school years is that it’s important to try new things. I know, I know it’s cliché,

but it couldn’t be any more true. Some of you may be immediately discouraged by the

phrase “trying new things”. Doing something completely out of your comfort zone can

be really scary, and I get that. But, trying new things doesn’t always mean overcoming

your deepest fears. For some people, trying new things means wearing a different

hairstyle or trying a new food. For others, trying new things means traveling to a new

place or picking up a new hobby. However big or small your “new adventure” is, I want

you to be proud of it. Whether good or bad, I’m willing to bet you learned something

from that experience and maybe even had fun along the way.

     The next thing I have learned is that you should never be afraid to

fail. Failure goes hand in hand with trying new things. I found this quote

from J.K. Rowling and it reads, “It is impossible to live without failing at

something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have

lived at all, in which case you have failed by default”. Yes, trying new things may lead

to failure, but if you never try you have already failed. As we move on with our lives

after high school, I challenge you to try something completely new and absurd. As a

matter of fact, I want you to do something that you know you are going to fail at. Take

that failure and learn from it. Let it inspire you and shape the person you become in the


      I have also learned that it is important to experience the world in your own way.

Take what the world has to offer and use it to your advantage. Find something you love

and that you are really good at, and pursue it. Stand up for the things you believe in.

And aim high, because your ideas do matter, and some of you are going to change the

world someday.

     In conclusion, I would like to challenge everyone to get out there and

try something new! I’m going to leave you with a quote from my Dad who

titled my speech, “Don’t be afraid to try the sushi” because you’ll never

know if you like it unless you try it. Congratulations Class of 2018!

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