Ryan Conway - 2019 Valedictorian Address

Ryan Conway - 2019 Valedictorian Address
Ryan Conway

Manteno High School announces Ryan Conway as the class of 2019 second of three valedictorian. Ryan is the daughter of Revon Smith and Brian Conway.  Ryan is a four year member of the varsity soccer team, earning I-8 academic scholar athlete status for three years and serving as team captain for two.  She achieved all sectional status in 2018   She has been a member of Best Buddies for four years and served as President as a senior and Vice President as a junior.   This 2018 Illinois State Scholar and National Honor Society member will attend the Loyola University Chicago in the fall on a Presidential Scholarship to study exercise science.


First of all, Congratulations!

I would like to start off with my thanks. Thanks to all of the faculty. Without you all, we wouldn’t be able to walk across this stage today. Thanks to Mr. Emerson and Miss Younker for all that you have done for me. Without you two I wouldn’t be as prepared as I am to play the sport I love in college, so truly from the bottom of my heart, thank you. Last but not least, my family. Dad for the support. Mom for literally everything, the support, the countless car rides to practices, games, camps, and college visits, you’ve been there for everything. My sister Bry for everything. I can always count on her to laugh at me when I do something stupid, so thanks. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without you.

As I look out into the crowd, I see so many different people with different talents, hobbies, and friend groups. From the outside, it may seem like we are divided, but so many things have brought us together as a class and I would like to highlight a couple of them. Four years ago, we all started the same journey of high school together. We all have been on the same path these last 4 years to graduate and figure out what we want to do with the rest of our lives.  Athletics and music seems to be the big theme in our class, so all of the school dances and sporting events throughout the years have really brought us together. One of the best games throughout our 4 years of high school was 100% the volleyball game when our girls beat BBCHS. The atmosphere in this gym was amazing!  Our senior trip that everyone thought wasn’t going to be fun was actually a blast! So all of us that went had a great time together.  Finally, I don’t know if you guys know this or not, but we are in the presence of one of the greatest musical chair players of all time. I mean, 4 time musical chair champion and golden chair recipient Joey Fitzgerald is in Manteno’s Class of 2019!


To end my speech, I wanted to do something a little different. I didn’t want to just end with a quote, so instead I chose a lyric. Anyone who knows me knows that I love Nicki Minaj, so I found the perfect lyric that really exemplifies what Mr. Schnitzler was telling us about having dreams and working hard to accomplish them.

“ You gotta have real skill, gotta work for that. If it’s really your passion, would you give the world for that? Unlike a lot of these girls whether wack or lit, at least I can say I wrote every rap I spit. Put my blood, sweat, and tears in perfecting my craft. I’m still every team’s #1 pick in the draft. You could bring anybody, weatherman pick a day. I’m Kobe, KD, Kyrie! Pick a K”

Class of 2019, Congratulations!