The West Deptford Class of 2012 has had plenty of successes in the classroom and on the fields of play, with few wins as sweet as those over rival Haddonfield—whether in baseball, football, golf or track, those victories seemed like the pinnacle of achievement at the time.
But as valedictorian Tim Krott said Monday night, those championships are barely the beginning of what the graduates can accomplish.
“We have the potential to make an impact on our society in the future, but to do so, we must be courageous in pursuit of our goals,” he said. “Our greatest triumphs are still to come.”
Krott urged his classmates to take risks, to push beyond their normal boundaries and find out what they’re capable of, even if it comes with failure or difficult moments.
“No matter how hard it is to see at the time, every hardship brings with it the opportunity for growth,” Krott said. “In the end, the greatest achievements come from overcoming the greatest obstacles.”
And the world West Deptford graduates seems strewn with those obstacles.
Unemployment stands at 8.2 percent, while the average student loan debt on graduating from college tops $25,000.
That makes it that much more important to be focused and take responsibility for one’s own situation, teacher Deborah Richman told the graduates.
“This world needs no finger-pointing, no excuses, no whining,” she said. “It takes courage to take responsibility.”
And more than that, it takes self-awareness and determination, Richman said.
“When you get challenged, don’t retreat,” she said. “Say to yourself, ‘I can and I will do this.’ “
Salutatorian Rebecca Crowther echoed that sentiment.
“If you don’t believe in you, how could you expect anyone else to?” she said.
Crowther called on the wisdom—and rhymes—of Dr. Seuss to remind the graduates they can do anything they set their minds to.
“Will you succeed? Yes, you will indeed,” she said. “Ninety-eight and three-quarters percent guaranteed.”