skip to main content

SMOB Allison Alston Gives Dynamic 2019-2020 Kickoff Speech

Allison Alston—a Reservoir High School senior and this year’s HCPSS Student Member of the Board (SMOB)—recently inspired staff with her powerful message at the 2019-2020 kickoff celebrations. Twelve kickoff events are held throughout the county to welcome back staff from every school and office as they get ready for the first day of school.

Alston made poetic connections between light and life, and educators and success.


[ Allison standing at the podium giving a speech to HCPSS staff. ]

In preparation for today, I asked myself over and over
What can I say to people who have so much to say to me?
You know? How do I teach those who teach?
How do I reach those who reach?
How do I speech those who speech?
And while the last one didn’t use the proper part of speech

After careful consideration
And deep contemplation
And lengthy meditation and

Intense concentration
And in depth conversation
I asked my inner student
What do you do when you don’t know the answer to something?

Does anybody know?

You Google it, yes

And coming up with the idea to google it alone generated quite the amount of stress so
After a little bit of rest, this pedagogical gregarious girl graciously googled
“What should I say to these people about light?”

After which I realized that not going to school everyday for the past two months deprived me of my knowledge of what light even is, and in turn I took another break before asking Siri, “What is light?”
To which she replied with a quote from Wikipedia of course
And by the way, while I have you, I don’t see how that’s not a reliable source.
Because if you scroll to the bottom of the page, there’s a list of references to the information given but I've digressed.

So one of the first things I learned about light deals with its connection to the sun.
You know? Big yellow thing in the sky? Show of hands if you’ve heard of it.
And by the way the rest of this speech I've worded it so that
I literally cannot continue unless you encourage it so,
Show of hands if you’ve heard of it

Perfect. And so the sun is globally recognized as the primary source of light
And thus the primary source of energy
And this is no accessory
But more so a necessity
Because your life breathe and being indefinitely depend on the sun
And this is point number one
That in order for things to grow
They cannot do so without food, water, soil, and the sun
False or true?


So the score is wikipedia 1 and zero for you

And although this list is comprised of a few items, the list would be empty without sunlight. Right? (Right.)
Because the water cycle depends on the sun? Right? (Right.)
And this may be an oversimplification, but according to wikipedia the evaporation is triggered by the sun's radiation and without that, there would be no condensation nor precipitation so as you can see,
In the absence of light, there are limitations on all of earth’s creations.
Without light, you wouldn’t have access to your food, or your food’s food.
What I’m saying is the world revolves around the sun’s light
And the success of students revolves around your aptitude for a good attitude, fortitude, and magnitude of gratitude.
The success of our students revolves around you.

And now point #2

In my extremely thorough research,
I was also enlightened to the fact that
There are many types of light that the human eye cannot see.
These types include ultraviolet, infrared and radio
But the light we can see comes at a certain ratio
Yes there is a ratio prerequisite for visible light to have a receivable inflow.
And so in order for light to be seen
It must possess a certain energy and frequency
And feel free to fact check me
But regardless of whether Wikipedia is wrong, this is the perfect analogy
That if I am a student, and I’m not receiving your light, there may be an issue with the frequency and energy.
And all that means for my second point is that if I’ve set goals for who I want to be after graduating with the class of 2020
I’ll need a frequent and energetic light to guide me.

And now for point three
That light is impossible to achieve
Without currents
Of magnets and electricity
And this is important for two reasons
One being that magnets possess the ability to attract things
And so as guiding lights in your schools,
You have a responsibility to have all students enter the building
Not reluctantly or forcefully but joyfully
Two being that if our school system has a goal for our students
It will not be met unless you charge me.
And so... what does that mean? This means that
Regardless of whether I perform at an A or an E
And regardless of whether I go to trade school or a university
And regardless of whether I’m fully abled or have a disability
I need you as a guiding light to charge me so that finally when I leave my school
I’m a light that someone else can see.