Greetings family, friends, faculty, and the class of 2020. My name is McKenzie Allmond, your Watson Chapel High School Valedictorian. It is an honor to be here in front of you all celebrating the day we’ve been waiting for.

First, I would like to thank God and my family for believing in me and pushing me to do better everyday even when others doubted me. If life has taught me one thing it was to not take anything for granted because it could get taken away at any given time.

Although COVID-19 (aka coronavirus) ruined many of our plans for the remainder of the school year, we still made many memories, such as running to the cafeteria to be the first in line, everyone waiting til the last day to take the AR test, my wig falling off at a football game on live television, getting excited when we searched one answer on quizlet and the whole worksheet popped up and playing a prank on Mr. Jeffers, which didn’t end too well.

If I may add, he banned me from the library for a whole week. I even tried to bribe him with McDonald’s, but he still didn’t accept my apology. Every now and then the library crew (which consisted of myself along with the other library workers) would get together and plan a little eating party. Everybody would pitch in money or bring food and we would have a good ole time. I even made up my own club known as The Library Club which I was the president of course. The club would consist of us going on field trips because Mr. Jeffers got tired of everyone else going on field trips, so he wanted to take his library crew somewhere. But that didn’t last long unfortunately. As you can see the library was my second home.

I will forever cherish the memories along with the relationships that I’ve built with individuals throughout the years. I would stay in there every class period, except third which was Mrs. King’s class, because she doesn’t play. If you miss one day in there you’re behind the whole week. There is no catching up for you. If you don’t know the information that was taught that day, when it comes time for the test then you’re out of luck because she will separate you to where you sit one person to a table or give you a different test from the person sitting beside you. She would move on with or without you.

But being in high school has taught me that even the people you surround yourself with everyday will try to belittle you. High school has also taught me that everyone isn’t your friend and not everyone’s gonna like you and want to see you accomplish your goals but that’s okay. That’s why you have to be your own motivation. You have to have that driving force within yourself to want to succeed to want to be better for your future and to do anything possible to make sure you achieve your goals.

Everything is not gonna be handed to you either. You have to work for it and that’s what I had to learn to get to where I am today. I wanna leave one message for my class of 2020 and that is if we can get through these hard times, then we can get through whatever life throws at us. It’s okay to feel down at times but it’s not okay to give up. And lastly, never settle for less than what you deserve. Thank You.

— McKenzie Allmond is the 2020 Valedictorian of Watson Chapel High School.