At the end of each school year, the Senior Celebration and Commencement programs include special student presentations. Voted upon by the departing class, these two students have the opportunity to both speak to the school on behalf of the senior class and to address their fellow classmates as they prepare to step forward into an exciting future.
Seniors Danny Mylott and Joey Randazzo have been selected as this year's Commencement and Senior Celebration speakers.
It is a fitting choice for the Class of 2017. Neither student is a stranger to public speaking; during their time at Reserve, they were both frequent performers on the Knight Fine Arts Center stage and visitors to the podium during Morning Meetings.
"I'm so excited to be the speaker," said Mylott. "Joey and I have talked about it and we're pretty happy about it. It'll be good. I actually think he's setting the bar a little too high for me, since he goes first — but that's okay!"
Mylott will speak at Commencement on Sunday, May 28, and he has prepared a speech that ultimately expresses his sincere gratitude toward the school community.
"What I'm most thankful for from my time at Reserve is my time with the people here and all they've done for me — my teachers, coaches, the students here, my advisors," he said. "What I'd like to do is go through the alma mater and talk about what it actually says. The lyrics talk a lot about the buildings here, but really, it's all about how this school is a place that holds your memories. It's a place that even now, as a senior, I can go to the hockey pond and remember all the fun times I had there. I can always remember these moments where teachers were there for me, where I had such an amazing experience."
Speaking about the alma mater prompted a memory from his first days at Reserve.
"I remember my freshman year, I was sitting next to Dresden Moll and it was our first time in the Chapel and she just turns to me and says, 'My great-grandpa wrote this,' and on my left was Elliot Ong, and he's just goes, 'My grandpa is John D. Ong' and I'm like, well, who am I?" he said, laughing.
Senior Celebration speaker Randazzo is looking forward to delivering a light-hearted speech — "I'm not a fan of the heavy stuff" — and one that, unlike his senior speech, will not follow a rhyme scheme. He will speak on Saturday, May 27.
"I'm planning on talking about how we, as a class, from freshman year to senior year, took shape," he explained. "We're about to go off into the world, but I want us to remember that this is a commonality that we all have. We all have this Reserve experience, and we have been blessed to have such a great opportunity to attend this school. I'm pretty excited and honored to be the representative for the seniors."
Both students reflected on the Class of 2017, describing the seniors with great affection and big smiles.
"I think we're the true class — we're true to ourselves," said Mylott. "I'm very proud to be in this class, and I've been so happy to be in a class that responds to so much with kindness and with honesty."
"I think dynamic is a good word to describe us," said Randazzo. "We have great actors, great athletes, really smart kids — there are so many different things that kids specialize in — but at the same time, we all fit together so well."
Since a majority of the juniors, sophomores and freshmen will most likely not be in attendance, both seniors have final words for the classes before they take off for a well-deserved summer break.
"I would tell them that I wish I had known I didn't have to wait to make stuff happen," said Mylott. "I wish someone had told me that I didn't have to wait until my senior year to do something I've always wanted to do."
"I would tell them to take every opportunity," said Randazzo. "Don't let any opportunity go over your head, make sure you try — and if that means a full schedule of everything, do a full schedule of everything. Do everything you can. Get the most out of Reserve."
We congratulate both Mylott and Randazzo and look forward to their speeches.