Thank You

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Thank You

Current entrance to AVHS.

Current entrance to AVHS.

Claire Hoffa

Current entrance to AVHS.

Claire Hoffa

Claire Hoffa

Current entrance to AVHS.

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Dear AVHS—

Thank you. Thank you for believing in me. Thank you for pushing me harder than I thought possible. Thank you for giving me opportunities that will last a lifetime, relationships that changed my life, and a place to call home for four amazing years.

When looking back at my four years here I cannot believe I am almost done. I am writing my goodbye article for goodness sake! To help rationalize everything that is going on in my life, I had to do some math. 646 early mornings, 4,592 class periods, 229,600 minutes of learning, 77 final exams, 24 Eagle Days, and countless memories filled my four years here at Apple Valley.

That’s a lot, and in that time, I did a lot more than learn from a textbook. I learned about who I am and what I am capable of both within and beyond the borders of the classroom.

The classrooms of AVHS are built on a single foundation: teachers. Without them, this school falls apart. Without them, the students fall apart. So I want to take the time to thank every teacher for the time and effort they put into the classroom. Teaching is not easy. It is not a 9-5 job. It requires planning and hard work, but it mostly requires patience. I can’t tell you how many times I have asked a redundant question or needed extra help before or after school. And the amazing thing is that every teacher I have had–and this is true for most if not every teacher in the building–is willing to do whatever he or she can do to ensure student success.

Like this newspaper, for example–it started as just an idea from a student; add a teacher that may actually care too much, and now we have grown into a nationally recognized site. That’s a big deal.

Thank you to my friends that made this high school a place that I was willing to come to 646 times. The amazing thing about AVHS is that my “friends” here are not necessarily the friends I hang out with every night after school. These are the friends that say hi in the hallway, the ones that are willing to be your partner in gym class and the ones that will form a study group the night before a brutal test. To those friends, I hope we stay in touch, but if we drift our separate ways I wish you all the luck in your future.

Thank you to the graduating classes before me, for showing me what to–and more importantly what not to–do.

Thank you to the juniors; you have been with us seniors for three years now and we are leaving the future of the high school in your hands. Don’t mess it up.

Thank you to the workers we have here at AVHS that make the daily operations seem seamless. Thank you, custodians, for working long hours to make sure our school is always looking its best, which it is. Thank you to the lunchroom workers for making excellent food and dealing with all of the rowdy, hangry students during lunchtime.

Thank you to the office workers. To the receptionist who always has the answer to the attendance ladies that make sure you have a pass to class when your alarm suddenly breaks Monday morning.

Thank you to the administration. Now this is a big one. I am a huge fan of the AAA philosophy and having people in charge that also genuinely care about arts, athletics, AND academics sets AVHS apart from others.

To Mr. Degenaar, thank you. Thank you for working tirelessly at your job. Thank you for committing 17 years to running this school; you have done an amazing job, transformed the lives of thousands of students, and leave very big shoes to fill. Congratulations on your retirement–I hope the extra time treats you well. The class of 2016 is honored to be your last graduating class.

My biggest regret about high school is not saying thank you enough. So in a final attempt to tie up loose ends, let me say it one more time: THANK YOU.

Yours truly,

Claire Hoffa

Class of 2016

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