Danielle Bogacz - 2019 Valedictorian Address

Danielle Bogacz - 2019 Valedictorian Address
Danielle Bogacz

Manteno High School announces Danielle Bogacz as one of three valedictorian for the class of 2019.  While attending Manteno High School she has been activity in the Leadership Academy.  She has participated in the World Youth Science and Engineering Academic Challenge earning 2nd place at regionals in the area of mathematics two years running. Danielle is the daughter of Vicki Bogacz and Paul Bogacz.  This Illinois State Scholar and National Honor Society Member will be attending DePaul University this fall majoring in actuarial science on an academic scholarship.


Even though you’re probably going to hear this a million times today, I want to start by saying congratulations to the Class of 2019. We fought through everything, and we got here. I also want to thank the Manteno teachers and staff for giving us the resources we needed to get to this point. And finally, I want to thank all the parents and family here, especially my own, for supporting us through it all.


So now, Class of 2019, as we start to prepare for the future ahead of us, with what college we’ll be attending, what career we’ll be pursuing, entering the military, or whatever it may be, we’re looking back at high school and we’re wondering, what was that even for? What was the purpose of all those years of schooling?      And I do have an answer that will apply to everyone here.


Something I once heard is that if nothing else, getting a high school diploma shows that you can finish what you started. So even if you’ve already forgotten everything on every test you’ve ever taken, or even if you were right when you tried to convince your math teacher that you are never going to use this again in your life, you persevered through it. We all did. And that’s something we all deserve to celebrate.


So now, with our high school education coming to an end, we get to choose where we apply this learned talent of dedication. We get to ask ourselves, what is important to me? What can I do to push past the average mark, to make a difference in the lives of others? We all have our different strengths, so it’s really cool that we’re going on to do what we’re meant to do. We may or may not need to use the periodic table of elements to make that happen, but it’s the life skills we’ve learned from high school that matter. Life skills like teamwork, self-discipline, communication, goal-setting.


So as we are making the transition into these new chapters, yes, you should look back at what you’ve accomplished, but I actually want to encourage you to reflect mostly on what you didn’t accomplish. What is there that you wish you would have done differently?       What skills do you wish you would have developed while in high school?  If you’re looking back on those years and you’re not proud of your relationships, the way you treated others, your confidence, your faith, how you spent your time… don’t ignore it. The good news is, now is your new chance.


For all of us, things are going to be different after graduating or in the next school year to come. We will get new life routines, perhaps new jobs, maybe move somewhere new, even to a different climate. We’ll meet new people and we’ll become new people. For those of us graduating, there is no better time than now to become someone new. That’s why, Class of 2019 and those in the audience as well; I want to inspire you to shape the person you want to be in the future. Once you have a clear image of who you want to become, it will become easier for you to pursue it. People are so incredibly malleable, so take advantage of it, and become somebody you are proud of.


Thank you all for coming and congratulations once again to the Class of 2019.