Arnette tells Class of 2021 to be kind to others and go be great

Chris Bowie
Boonville Daily News
The Boonville Class of 2021 throw their caps in the air at the conclusion of commencement Sunday at the Windsor gymnasium at Boonville High School.
Boonville ELA teacher Abby Arnette was the keynote speaker for the Class of 2021 Sunday at the Windsor gymnasium at Boonville High School. Arnette told the graduating class of 2021 to be kind to others and go out in the world and be great.

As the Boonville Class of 2021 left the Windsor gymnasium one by one for the final time Sunday during commencement, keynote speaker Abby Arnette emphasized over and over to the 118 graduates to be kind to others and be kind to themselves.

“I am so completely honored to have been chosen this year as your graduation speaker,” Arnette said. “I can’t help but feel that maybe this is a little bit of pay back for all of the presentations, class projects and speeches that I required a majority of you to do in sixth grade as well as your sophomore and junior year at BHS, so congratulation to the Class of 2020-21 you indeed got the last one in on me. But then again I am the one up here talking to all of you so maybe this one is my last chance to get the last one in as the host of the class of 2020-21 official roast. I’m just kidding.”

Of course prior to Arnette speaking to the Class of 2021, the Boonville Silver Pirate Senior Band Members of 2021-led by Kyle Donnelly-played “All Along the Watchtower” by Bob Dylan. 

Boonville Superintendent Sarah Marriott then commented to the Class of 2021 that it’s been an honor to know this group of seniors. “They’re a very talented group and have a bright future ahead of them in whatever path they choose,” Marriott said. “Congratulations and good luck in all of your future endeavors.”

Marriott also introduced Mrs. Arnette to the crowd.

“Mrs. Arnette is a educator, coach, wife, and mother who values knowledge, hard work and above all kindness,” Marriott said. “As an educator for 10 years, Mrs. Arnette has taught language arts to a plethora of students in a wide range of grade levels. She has taught in Boonville schools for the past eight years, serving as the LSE sixth grade english teacher for five years and has sense been the BHS teacher teaching ELA 2 and ELA 3 to sophomores and juniors. During her eight years in Boonville, she has also held the position of the varsity high school cheerleading coach. Mrs. Arnette covets the relationships she has built with this senior class while teaching them their sixth grade, sophomore and junior years.”

Arnette said to the Class of 2021 that she is so completely honored to have been chosen this year as their graduation speaker. 

“I can’t help but feel that maybe this is a little bit of pay back for all of the presentations, class projects and speeches that I required a majority of you to do in sixth grade as well as your sophomore and junior year at BHS, so congratulation to the Class of 2020-21, you indeed got the last one in on me,” Arnette said. “But then again I am the one up here talking to all of you so maybe this one is my last chance to get the last one in as the host of the class of 2020-21 official roast. I’m just kidding.”

Arnette also said the Class of 2021 also changed her. She said the senior class helped her see her role as an educator was not just to teach and care about her students, but to love and learn from and with them.

“From that moment forward we became family,” Arnette said. “Hands down your junior year was the best year with you guys. I will forever cherish the memories we made, the uncontrollable laughs, the ridiculous things you said and your creative abilities.”

Arnette also had some words of wisdom for the senior class. She said, “As you leave today and begin your journey in the world outside of BHS, never forget to be kind. Some super smart person once said in a world where you can be anything be kind. So you are all ready to shape your pathway to your anything so along the way be kind. Be friendly and nice to everyone even when you’re having a rough day. Be kind. 

“It might make you feel better and you never know who might need your kindness in their day. If your shy even a smile will do the trick. Say hello, say good morning. Not just to the person you know but to the person behind you, in front of you, your parents, your siblings, your friends, the receptionist who checks you in for the long wait at the doctor’s office, the person who cuts you off in traffic because you never know what might be happening to make them need to rush so badly. Be kind because it is not only the right thing to do but because you never know who is watching.

“You’re never too important to be nice to those around you. The most important people in our lives are often the kindest ones. I have seen each and every one of you be kind whether you think we were watching you or not. I have seen you silently or quite loudly, let’s be honest, share your thoughts and opinions on a variety of topics. You all are kind, you love without hesitation, but as you walk out of here today remember that sometimes you’re going to need to pocket your judgements and simply smile at those around you. Not every single thought going through your mind needs to be shared. Trust me on that one. Be kind and own it. And while it’s extremely important to be kind to others, it’s equally important to be kind to yourself. You control your future and your future is determined by mindset. Do right by you so you can do right for others.”

The second thing that Arnette shared with the Class of 2021 is for them to know their boundaries and be ready to say no. She said don’t be a pushover and to know their limits.

Lastly, she said remember what fuels your passion. 

“Don’t be afraid to make the changes that make you happy and to make you the best version of yourself,” Arnette said. “It is after all your life. Senior Class of 2020-21, it’s time to say good-bye. It is time for you to take this walk and be proud of your accomplishments. As you leave this gym, this school, this property for the final time today as a BHS student and the first time as an alumni, prepare to be kind to others and yourself. Seniors I love you dearly and I cannot wait to see amazing things you accomplish in this world. Go be great.”

Boonville Principal Tim Edwards also had some words for the senior class. After congratulating the Class of 2021, Edwards said, “You have almost reached the finish line. It’s right there. I and your teachers are confident that your education from BHS, you’re very prepared for your next race. Although all of your races will be different I hope all of you run a great race.”

After the awarding of diplomas to the Class of 2021, the Boonville R-1 High School Chamber Choir sang “I Will Sing You the Stars” directed by Warren Bailey, director. 

Meanwhile, after closing remarks from the class officers, the 118 students of BHS walked out of the Windsor for the final time together as the Class of 2021.