DALLAS TWP. — “Move the world” was the parting wisdom Dallas High School Class of 2018 Valedictorian Matthew Robert Metzloff ofered his classmates at the district’s 57th commencement June 15.
Metzloff addressed 207 graduating students, their families, friends and faculty in Mountaineer Stadium and painted a picture of a diverse group of students still discovering their talents.
“Good evening to my classmates, friends and families, to our Dallas teachers and staff and to everyone else who could not make it here tonight. On behalf of the Class of 2018, I would like to thank every one of you for the help you have given us over the last few years,” Metzloff said. “We just finished a year that involved some of the most important decisions we will ever make, but I think it is just as important to consider where we are going.”
To look to the future, Metzloff drew inspiration from ancient Greek mathematician and engineer Archimedes, who was reported as saying, “Give me a lever and a place to stand and I will move the world.”
“He meant this literally as the placement of leverage,” Metzloff said, noting the quote has a different application reflective of the lives the Class of 2018 will lead.
“A lever is a beam that can pivot on some fixed point,” he said. “Our levers are our unique sets of skills which we spent years cultivating and work to continue to improve. I believe everyone in this graduating class excels at something.”
“A place to stand” refers to the physical place to apply force, Metzloff said.
“In the same way, each of us will maximize our impact on the world by choosing where we go in the future,” he said.
The phrase “move the world” will have a different meaning to everyone, Metzloff said, noting the word “move” could mean “a tiny shift or a large displacement.”
“We may move our worlds by different degrees, but movement always means change,” he said. “I think it will be a change for the better.”
The term “world” could also have various meanings, such as reflective of a place, group or an idea.
“Our worlds differ in size and shape, but all of them are important, and all of them will be impacted by our actions,” Metzloff said. “In the same way, each of us will maximize our impact on the world by choosing where we go in the future. Soon, we will be the ones who will lead, serve, cure and innovate.
“So, Dallas High School Class of 2018, today and for the rest of our lives, let’s ‘move the world,’” he concluded.
Graduates dressed in district colors of dark and light blue took their first steps toward’s changing their worlds by receiving diplomas from Dallas School District Board of Education President Sherri Newell.
The students lived up to Metzloff’s depiction of diversity by customizing their stage presence with a whoop, yelp and, in one, case a flip.
The class featured 134 students who received School Board Achievement Awards. Sixty students were recipients of various scholarships, academic and athletic awards.
Alexander Charlton, co-president of the Class of 2018, noted the group’s diversity but also acknowledged its ability to work as a team.
“We have always been there for each other, working as a team, like a family,” Charlton said. “The sole concept of teamwork and friendship separates the Class of 2018 from any other class.”
Students learned to support one another and not tear someone else down, he said.
“The world needs individual strengths and the collective efforts” demonstrated by the Class of 2018, Charlton said.
Reach Eileen Godin at 570-991-6387 or on Twitter @TLNews.