Commencement speech by Wilton High School staff member Kim Ely, for the school’s 2020 graduation celebration on June 13:

Good morning Wilton High School class of 2020, and congratulations!

For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Kim from the booth. First, I would like to mention how truly honored I am to have been selected as this year’s commencement speaker. Although I can’t see your smiling faces, I am very lucky to be here with you (points to heart). But enough about me. Today is about You as it marks one of the best days of your lives!

Take a moment to think back to your first day walking into Wilton High School. A lot of you were deer in the headlights. Totally unaware of what the next four years would bring. High school has been a major turning point in your lives. New faces, new relationships, new hobbies & interests. You’ve become new people. Not to say your journey was a walk in the park.

As you should know, Wilton High School is ranked in the top 500 of “The best public high schools in America.” With over 25,000 public high schools in the US. This is nothing to be taken lightly.

The academic workload at WHS is demanding, to say the least. I know it’s taken you more than a couple of late nights studying to get through it. The long classes, lectures, Zoom meetings, the projects are seemingly endless and the stress you’ve faced is immeasurable. Just wait for college. (Laugh track) But through it all, you’ve kept a positive attitude. I commend and applaud each and every one of you. Your hard work and dedication has clearly paid off.

They say if you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life. Because of the students at WHS, I love coming to work everyday. Some of you I have had the pleasure to know better than others. But your hopes, ambitions, stories, questions are what have kept me here with you through it all.

“Can I borrow a pencil? Do you have some tape? Do you have a hair tie? Did you find any keys? Can I borrow some money? Have you seen my mom? Can I have a hug?”

Between all of the good mornings, hellos, goodbyes, behaves, be carefuls, be goods, tears, laughs, and smiles… All of the secrets I’ve been told. You know who you are. Don’t worry, they’re safe with me.

Please remember that through it all, I have been and always will be here for you.

It’s been an interesting year without question. It’s important not to let the state of the world today discourage you. The resilience you have all shown is why the class of 2020 graduates are not only the envy of the world, but the hope for our future. The spotlight is on you. Remember that no matter what, this is your year. You can make it whatever you want. Every journey is different, and every journey is a new chance to learn. Make this journey yours.

Allow me to offer you a bit of life advice going forward: No matter where you are or what you’re doing, take every day with a positive attitude. Try to surround yourself with people who remind you how amazing you are. Do what you love, be inquisitive, and never stop learning.

I am so grateful to have had the chance to address you all today. I cannot wait to see where your futures will take you.

Love to you all and congratulations WHS class of 2020!!!! (Blows kisses)

I miss you already!!