132 seniors graduate from Seoul American High School
June 11, 2008
<b>YONGSAN GARRISON, Republic of Korea</b> - High school officially ended June 7 for the 132 graduates of Seoul American High School Senior Class of 2008.
Hundreds of families, friends and well-wishers gathered in a packed Collier Field House to celebrate their accomplishments and watch the graduates turn their tassels.
The class finished the year with a 3.25 grade point average. Twenty-four percent of the students earned 3.5 or higher and scored in the top 15 percent nationwide on one or more subtests of the SAT and the ACT. One senior received a National Achievement Award, scoring in the top 5 percent of the 140,000 African Americans who took the practice SAT.
The class valedictorian was Yun-Hee Kim and the salutatorian was Christopher Paek.
"Your contribution to the Yongsan community has been significant," said Col. Dave Hall, U.S. Army Garrison-Yongsan commander. "Because of student involvement, volunteerism and your passion, you made Yongsan a community of excellence. I am proud of what each one of you has done and accomplished."
Other accomplishments of the Class of 2008 include seven Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps cadets earning appointments to military academies: two to the U.S. Military Academy, three to the U.S. Air Force Academy, and two to the U.S. Naval Academy. In addition, 34 graduates earned 70 ROTC scholarships.
The keynote speaker, Michelle Outlaw, herself a 1994 SAHS honors graduate, spoke about how the quality of a Seoul American High School education is Aca,!A"as priceless today as it has always been.Aca,!A?
She also recognized many of her former teachers still teaching at SAHS. Aca,!A"At SAHS, I had unknowingly gained all of the tools needed for success in life and I had only to build upon that solid foundation by making wise choices,Aca,!A? she said.
She is now a foreign service officer with the U.S. Department of State, assigned in Seoul as vice consul at the U.S. Embassy.
Aca,!A"Some of lifeAca,!a,,cs greatest opportunities come as a result of some of lifeAca,!a,,cs greatest challenges,Aca,!A? she said. Aca,!A"Take chances in life and remember that though the road may be rough and you may stumble and perhaps fall, you will be remembered for what you do after the fall, rather than how many times you fall.Aca,!A?
The motto that illustrated the ambitions for the future of the Class of 2008 is in a leadership quotation from Harold R. McAlindon: Aca,!A"Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.Aca,!A?
Aca,!A"There will be struggles that you are not familiar with,Aca,!A? June Wilkins, the Senior Class Advisor, told the graduates. Aca,!A"When there are struggles, I advise you not to take a safe way, but do the exact opposite. As it is said, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.Aca,!A?
In her speech, Kim thanked parents for guiding and nurturing the graduates. Aca,!A"Who would we be without our parents' We know that whatever we do, youAca,!a,,cll never judge us. YouAca,!a,,cll be our No. 1 fan and no matter what we decide to do with our lives, youAca,!a,,cll be there to back us up 100 percent,Aca,!A? Kim said.
Aca,!A"Going to this school was an honor and a privilege for me,Aca,!A? Paek said during his graduation speech. Aca,!A"Our class united as a group. We were one instead of clusters of selfish individuals that strived for success. And thatAca,!a,,cs what makes this class unique and the best class in SAHS history.Aca,!A?
After the graduates received their diplomas and marked their last day at SAHS, caps flew into the air as the crowd filled the building with loud applause and shouts.
Aca,!A"I was really nervous during the graduation,Aca,!A? said graduate Katherine E. Chapman. Aca,!A"Whatever it takes, I hope my future would lead me where I need to be.Aca,!A?