Senior speeches begin today: here’s the first speaker’s story


Lara Cayci

Senior Sydney Therien holds the final copy of her senior speech.

Lara Cayci, RubicOnline

Senior speeches are a vital part of the senior year experience at SPA, and the first speeches of the 2019-2020 school year are coming up soon. During the Junior Retreat, a raffle is held which decides the speech dates. For seniors Sydney Therien, Max Soll, Yona Ketema and Kathleen Bishop that means giving their speeches on the first Friday assembly of the year. 

So, what exactly does that mean for the speakers? Does it mean stressing over being the first of the year, or having no feelings about it and getting it over with? Therien’s view is a mixture of these answers. 

“If you would have asked me [about my speech] at any point, before about five minutes ago when I printed out my final draft, I would’ve told you that I felt nothing. But, if you look at the papers on the ground over there, those are three different copies of my senior speech. That one that looks all nice, that’s the one I’m going to be reading tomorrow, on stage. When I took it out of the printer, it just kind of weirdly hit me. I was like, ‘this is the speech I’m going to be reading. In front of the whole school tomorrow. That’s my senior speech,’” Therien said. 

How I feel, I guess, is not as apathetic anymore. My speech. It’s here. I’m old.

— Sydney Therien

When looking behind the scenes for the writing process, the speakers earlier in the year have to put some time aside during the summer to write while other students aren’t even thinking about their ideas yet. “I started thinking of ideas early in the summer since I hate having things hanging over my head,” Therien said. “I wrote the majority of my speech on the Costa Rica trip. I had a solid draft done by July.” 

While some may see being first as threatening, Therien wouldn’t have it any other way. “I’m so happy that I’m first. I set the bar. [Regardless of] whether it’s high or low, the bar is set. I don’t have to be compared to anyone else, other people are compared to me,” she said.

“How I feel, I guess, is not as apathetic anymore. My speech. It’s here. I’m old.”

There will be 90 senior speeches throughout the year. Typically four will be given every Friday during X-Period.