MHS Salutatorian: Write those next chapters

Zoie Zimpleman speaks to her classmates during the 2023 commencement at Maricopa High Schoool. [Victor Moreno]

At the Maricopa High School graduation, Salutatorian Zoie Zimpleman took to the stage and spoke to her graduating class. Here’s her speech:

Zoie Zimpleman [Victor Moreno]
Good evening, family, friends, faculty, distinguished guests, and most importantly, the Class of 2023! I am truly honored to be up here tonight speaking on behalf of not just my fellow graduates, but my friends. 

Much like a good story, our class is captivating, complex, inspiring, and most importantly unique. MHS graduates, the characters in this story, have been through a lot together; some of us have known each other since we were in first grade, some even longer, and others may have recently joined our ranks. Despite when you joined our class, we stand here today as a group of individuals able to come together to do more than we ever could do apart.  

We must acknowledge that getting to today was no small feat. Having worked for over thirteen years just for this moment, it is hard to ignore the hard work, patience, determination, and even sacrifice that embodies the attitudes of each and every graduate. These past four chapters of our lives may not have been how we pictured our high school career, yet the struggles we encountered provided us with the strength and resilience we needed to grow and prepare for what life has in store for us. Throughout our time at MHS we have learned that many things in life are in fact temporary; life is full of temporary moments, emotions and seasons. 

The excitement you felt freshman year when you learned our Spring Break, time at home, would be extended, temporary. 

The loneliness you felt when you were isolated from friends, stuck at your house during the pandemic, temporary. 

The roller coaster of emotions that engulfed you as you witnessed our Sophomore year going back and forth from virtual to in person learning, temporary. 

The disappointment you felt when you didn’t get the grade you expected or worked for,  again just temporary. 

The thrill of endless hours spent stalking someone just to squirt them with a water gun- temporary. 

The emptiness you felt wondering what am I going to do with my life after I graduate- temporary. 

The surreal feeling you are about to experience walking across this stage tonight to receive your diploma, temporary. 

No matter what you are going through, you must remember that your present situation is not your final destination. Nothing in life is permanent, be mindful that life changes, people come and go and seasons never last. So hold on tight to the memories you make, never regret the time you spent with the ones you love, have adventures, travel, do what makes you happy and let go of what doesn’t. Go out into the world, make mistakes, take those setbacks and reflect upon them as a way to grow.  

We ourselves are in fact all temporary, but the impact that we have on each other and the world around us doesn’t have to be. Once we turn our tassels tonight, the story of the Class of 2023 ends, but the best part of each of our unique stories has yet to come. Class of 2023, the next chapters are important to our story…and they are blank, go write them!