Eastern Center for Arts and Technology (EASTERN) Computer Network Administration/Upper Moreland High School senior, Brendan O’Connor, has been selected as the commencement speaker for the class of 2016 graduation on June 8, 2016 at Upper Moreland High School.
At Upper Moreland High School, the valedictorian does not give the commencement speech. It is a competition that begins with a student submitting a speech, and is reviewed by a committee of Upper Moreland staff and faculty. This committee narrowed the speeches down to the seven best and the selected students each presented their speeches to the committee. Brendan was chosen to give his speech to Mr. Joe Carracappa, Upper Moreland High School Principal. On Tuesday, May 17, Brendan was notified of his official selection. He is now firming up his speech and making some changes to the end. He is practicing it daily for the big day.
Brendan’s speech is centered on how people change in life without even realizing it. “Every day you become a better person,” said Brendan. “Things happened yesterday and because of that, you are different. My speech is about how we evolve as people on a daily basis.”
Initially, this was an assignment for Brendan’s English class, but they were not required to move the speech forward to the competition. Brendan started thinking about the future and how far he has come since beginning high school. A famous CS Lewis quote came to mind – “Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes, but when you look back, everything is different.”
Being selected for this honor was very surreal for Brendan. “I was shocked I got that far. English was always one of my weakest subjects,” said Brendan. “Math has always been my strong point. My parents are very excited.”
Brendan chose Computer Network Administrating at EASTERN because he was looking for an in-depth class in computers to expand upon what he had learned in classes at Upper Moreland. From an early age, Brendan wanted to do something with computers. He enjoys the independence of the Computer Network Administration program, but also appreciates his instructor, Karon Crickmore, and how she guides the students during projects.
After graduation, Brendan will be attending Penn State University’s main campus to continue his education in Information Science and Technology.