Little Johnny’s Preschool Valedictory Address
by Jay Pawlyk
Members of the Board of Trustees, faculty, staff, parents, school counselor, our class hamster “Mr. Cuddles,” and my beloved classmates from the International Pre-School Academy for the Preternaturally Awesome Four-year-old.
Wow. We sure have come a long way, haven’t we? It seems like yesterday we began here at IPAPAF (The “IPA” we alums can now call it!). Way back then we had eclipsed the terrible twos and some of us were even wearing underwear without cartoon characters on them, but many of us remained scared to leave mom’s cheerio-caked mini-van. We hesitated sharing our cubby, afraid that the Batman lunchboxes would get cooties from the Barbie lunchboxes. We wanted all the blocks to ourselves and struggled to take naps away from the predictable comforts of the superheroes and American Girl dolls of our bedrooms. So what has changed from those awkward first moments here at IPA? What have we accomplished, IPA class of 2013?
Think of Ronnie, who came here as the stuttering kid who picked his nose and now is just . . . well . . . the stuttering kid who picks his nose but is an amazing finger-painter, although he is still exploring his “green period.” Think of Charity who, ironically, never shared any of her toys or her own birthday cake but now, after some emotional intervention and rigorous counseling, can pass the cookies after a calm, silent 10-count. Think of Timmy, whose love of show-tunes, hairstyling, and the color pink forever altered our black-and-white gender paradigm we all had way back in 2011. He challenged our very core and for that, we thank you Timmy. Timmy? Oops, I forgot, Timmy is helping the moms with the place settings for our graduation party. GO TIMMY! And think of Tucker who has earned 21 stars from Ms. Broderick after not pushing his classmates off the slide for most of the last three weeks! I know these are just personal anecdotes, but these stories, these accomplishments, are what define us as the IPA class of 2013, a class that will never be forgotten.
Remember that “commencement” is not an ending but, rather, a beginning. Just because there will be no more sandboxes and field trips to the ice cream store across the street doesn’t mean it’s all over. Think of all the skills we developed that will help us in the “real world.” After that insect diorama, no group project will ever scare us. After that kazoo concert for our parents, no grammar school music class will ever be too difficult nor no audience too critical. After that class sandcastle in the play-yard, what future can we not build for ourselves? After we learned that Fits Disease is also called “Slapped Cheek Syndrome,” do you remember how well behaved we all were (Tucker hasn’t spoken February!). After Clarisse threw up on Curious George, we all learned that consuming a pound of Easter candy with a grape-juice chaser does not make an ideal breakfast. But we learn from our mistakes here at IPA. That is what makes us unique (that and a miraculous rug-stain remover!).
There has never been an IPA class like ours. Our accomplishments stand alone amid the storied history of this esteemed pre-school. As we leave for an unknown future IPA class of 2013, never change who you really are, those young boys and girls who are ready to conquer Kindergarten and beyond. We know that we will be the smallest kids at school next year, but our success is inevitable because WE-ARE-IPA!!!!
Thank you and enjoy your post-graduation Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs – inspired ice-cream bar!!