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Avon Salutatorian's Speech: Evan Dorsky

Read the transcript to his speech and tell us what advice you have for the Avon High School Class of 2012 graduates.

salutatorian Evan Dorsky has certainly had a lot of academic achievements, including being a National Merit Scholar for the PSATs, earning department awards for French, science and orchestra and a distinguished graduate award.

But he also was involved in many things, from the Uberbots robotics team to teaching senior citizens how to use iPads at the .

Dorsky provided Avon Patch with the transcript to his speech:

I remember when we got our student ID numbers in 5th grade. They started with our graduation year: 0-2-0-1-2-0. 2012 seemed like such a long way away. But now it’s here, and though end of the world rumors have mysteriously disappeared, it does mark the end of our time together. I’ve occasionally remarked, and discussed with my friends, that students from other high schools often look older than the ones from Avon. But barring the existence of some bizarre and remarkably localized genetic mutation hotspot in the Farmington Valley, this must be a relative observation. Our subconscious superimposes on our current faces our faces from when we were children, when we first met. This effect must contribute to why we form such strong relationships in high school: many of us have known each other since we were five or six years old.

We’ve shared quite a few firsts as a class. The class of 2012 was the first class to enjoy four years at Avon High School with the beautiful new wing fully constructed and accessible. We were the only class that experienced the acute joy of having a new playground in sixth grade, after an entire year without one. We were the first class to take practice CMT’s in between the real CMT’s, though I never understood the difference. And we’re one of the last classes with memories of the most fun parts of the Roaring Brook playground that no longer exist: the tire nets, more tire nets, and the giant knot of rope on a steel cable. Good times on that rope ball.

As evidenced by a lot of these firsts, our class was treated particularly well by the town of Avon. We hit a sweet spot: we didn’t have to suffer through construction, or overcrowding, at the high school, and at least we had the Thompson Brook playground for one year. In American society today, and especially in a place like Avon, it’s easy to feel entitled: to believe that we deserve these nice things, just for existing. But these things don’t just come to us. Citizens pay taxes, parents and administrators organize projects, engineers and architects design the buildings, and construction crews work hard building them.

It’s hard to teach appreciation for things that are so easy to take for granted, and high school teachers already have their work cut out for them teaching other difficult concepts, like how to think critically and apply knowledge across disciplines. High school has mostly prepared us for four more years of academia, but high school is also the most important step from childhood to adulthood. Teachers can’t directly teach us how to mature, at least not in a way that most of us will listen.

And that might be for the better. We have learned, from each other, how to interact with each other. There’s nothing more authentic. That intuitive education is what we will have to balance with our book education to advance in our careers and lives.

As the next generation entering the workforce, it will be our obligation to take advantage of our youthful perspective on the problems we will face. The authority figures are in their positions for legitimate reasons, but we will challenge them, because we’re young. And when we do, we should approach not just with criticism, but with a solution proposal that we’re ready to defend. This is what the head mentor on the Avon High School FIRST robotics team, the ÜberBots, calls “pushback.”

We’ll need to temper our enthusiasm and audacity with some replacement for wisdom, because, again, we’ll be young. This day should remind us that we’re going to reach a point, very soon, at which our most important tests won’t be on a piece of paper. They’ll all be online. But really, real life is approaching faster than we think, so when it arrives, take sincere advice to heart, and don’t be ashamed of what you love or excel at. Thank you, and congratulations, class of 2012!

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