Excerpts from 2012 Valedictorian, Lauren Zahm's Graduation Speech:
"When people ask me where I go to school, I automatically recite “The Howard School, it’s a really small school in Carpinteria.” Then they ask me how many people I have in my grade, and I reply, "Seven."
This is usually followed by big eyes and assorted remarks of bewilderment or sympathy. While people go through this process, I like to think about how lucky I am to go to a school with seven kids in my class. I mean, we get a lot done.
Because of Howard, we know how to outline and write book reports and speak French. We know so much math, I’m surprised our heads haven’t burst, and we know how to balance an equation and recite poems and we have analyzed the U.S. Constitution.
Some of the skills will benefit us far more than we can understand right now. But more importantly, at the Howard School we learn how to be the best people we can be. I have learned so much more about being good than about academics.
I think that’s the best thing about Howard. Recently, Mr. Reed taught me a lot about communication and listening. Teenagers can all talk until their mouths fall off, but few really know how to listen.
Mr. Reed told me that it is essential to listen to what people are trying to say, in addition to what they actually do say. That lesson will benefit me for the rest of my life, both academically and personally. I’ve increased my knowledge on friendship because of my six classmates. A classmate means so much here. When you spend five days a week, each week of the school year for five years, you know them pretty well.
You get to know their strengths and weaknesses, what makes them laugh and what makes them mad. You work through arguments simply because you can’t avoid each other, and at the end, each classmate becomes one of your greatest friends.
I hope I’m able to hold onto all the lessons the people at Howard have taught me, and just as importantly, to the memories I’ve made here.
Overall, my class of seven are some of the luckiest and unique individuals in the world. We share a class, memories, laughter, and now we will share being alumni of the Howard School Class of 2012.