2023 Salutatorian Speech

By Ryan McGovern ’23

My fellow graduates, parents and guardians, faculty and staff, and distinguished guests, welcome. On behalf of the Don Bosco Prep Class of 2023, it is my honor and privilege to extend my salutations to each and every one of you gathered here today. I thank all of you for joining us to celebrate the culmination of four years of hard work, but most importantly, I thank you for the impact that many of you have had on this graduating class, allowing us to reach this point.

I am truly honored to be standing here as the Salutatorian of the Class of 2023. Honestly, standing up here in front of so many people is not an easy thing for me to do. However, this class means a great deal to me, so opening this ceremony on their behalf was too important to simply pass up. I believe I speak for all students here by saying that we are experiencing quite a mix of emotions as we conclude our time at Bosco. Many of us are excited to begin the next chapter of our lives, with many going to a wide variety of colleges and others pursuing different paths in life, such as the military or the work force. And yet, the experiences we have had at Bosco are not so easily put in the past. Although it has been a turbulent four years, having not had a proper school year without the threat of the pandemic until the latter half of our time here, we have persisted regardless and have all grown in maturity, knowledge, character, and brotherhood.

Yet, these four years would not have been possible without the help of our parents and guardians, who have supported us by funding our education and working hard so that we could get the most out of our high school experience. We thank you for always being there to make our lunches, or give us the funds to get some SAGE Dining. For checking on our grades to make sure we were keeping up with all of our assignments and passing all of our classes. For proofreading our essays at 11:50 even though they were due at midnight. For helping us do homework that you didn’t know how to do yourselves. For all these and more, I offer our thanks; you have all raised wonderful sons that I am proud to call brothers.

I cannot properly offer my thanks without mentioning our teachers, who have guided and educated us during our time here, staying after school for extra help sessions or allowing us to retake tests that maybe didn’t show our best effort. I particularly want to thank all of the teachers who have always answered my nonsensical questions, because there were certainly quite a few. Your dedication to our education and your commitment to our growth have not gone unnoticed, and we are all grateful for the impact you have had on our lives. A special thank you to the teachers who left their rooms open after school hours, inviting students to relax after a long day, notably Mr. Kilduff, who always offered us snacks and chatted with us on a wide variety of topics, showing interest in whatever we had to say. Additionally, I want to extend a heartfelt thanks to all the staff who have worked behind the scenes to ensure that our school continues to function smoothly. To the counselors in the Guidance Department, who have helped us in times of difficulty and aided us in our college process, ensuring that we are all taking the proper steps toward our near future. I extend my personal thanks particularly to our wonderful Learning Needs Department, which has been so helpful to me, always ensuring that I was given the accommodations that I needed, even when it meant staying with me for 5 hours to take an AP exam.

Lastly, I want to thank my brothers, for all of the memories created these past four years and for the support you have offered myself and each other. I would be lying to say that I know every single one of you personally. However, that has never stopped me from feeling the overwhelming sense of brotherhood that this class shares. These have truly been a worthwhile four years. We have had a share of athletic victories, just this season alone our Baseball, Lacrosse, and Golf teams took Bergen County Championship titles and, most memorably for myself and my boatmates, the Crew team took a Silver medal at the Stotesbury Cup Regatta. Regardless of how exciting college games will get in our future, it will be difficult to recreate the hype and adrenaline that we all felt gathering in the quad doing the Bosco chant before a big game, everyone jumping and water bottles flying. I cannot forget all of the wonderful performances, both by our actors who have put on wonderful plays, such as this year’s Shrek, along with the many hilarious improv shows, and by the musicians who have played and sung beautifully at so many events. However, athletics and the performing arts aside, Bosco would not be the same without the great faith and service we have lived during our time here. Between the many charity works of the Veterans’ Affairs Club, the Youth Ministry Department, the Mission Club, and many more, as well as some of our larger service projects, such as the life-changing mission trip to Puerto Rico that I was able to attend, our dedication to helping others is clear through our actions. As we move toward the future, let us all continue to live lives of prayer and service to others, holding onto the memories and wisdom we have gained here. We cannot allow ourselves to lose track of the values we have learned as students of Don Bosco Prep.

These four years have been filled with so many experiences, and I thank everyone who helped to make them all possible. We have truly found a home, school, playground, and church in Don Bosco Prep. I will miss you guys tremendously, and before I conclude this speech, there is one last message I wish to share with you: Although we may be leaving this campus, we don’t have to leave the relationships and memories that we made here with it. Carry them with you through the rest of your journey, and allow them to help you continue to become better people. Congratulations to the Class of 2023, and God bless all of you.