Archived Stories for Union County Public Schools
Sun Valley High School senior speaks to Shiloh’s 5th grade class
On Thursday, June 4, Shiloh’s 5th grade class walked out of our doors for the last time. This was both an exciting and emotional moment for the 5th graders, especially for those who have been at Shiloh since Kindergarten. However, they were treated to a memorable promotion ceremony, due in part to a very special guest speaker. Former Shiloh student and current Sun Valley High School senior Codi Bryan surprised the 5th grade class by delivering the main speech at the ceremony.
Codi came back to Shiloh earlier this year as a high school Teacher Cadet in 5th grade teacher Mrs. Wendy Barrows’ class. It was clear to all staff who came in contact with Codi, including Mr. Spencer and Mrs. Aldredge, that he made a quick and positive connection with the students. Earlier this spring, when Shiloh’s administration was brainstorming ideas for a guest speaker for the 5th grade promotion ceremony, the idea of asking Codi to do it really excited them.
When speaking to the 5th graders during the ceremony, he told the story about how one of his football coaches told him that he would make a good teacher. That led to his becoming a Teacher Cadet and being assigned to Mrs. Barrows’ class. Codi said, “Day by day I began to fall in love with the classroom, and with being a teacher. It was a great experience being in class as a teacher from 7-10, and then going back to high school and being a student from 10-3. From reading books to doing math worksheets, to boiling water as a science experiment, or even going outside and playing kickball with my students. It’s definitely something I will remember for a long time, whether I pursue a career in teaching or not.”
Describing himself as quiet and shy when he came to Shiloh as a 4th grader, he felt somewhat intimidated by those students who had been at Shiloh since Kindergarten. However, he quickly learned an important lesson to just be yourself and to not worry about being cool.
By the end of that first school year at Shiloh, he was the only one chosen by his peers to be on the school news every Friday! “From then on out, I proved my theory about not having to be cool...all I had to do was be myself. Today on your graduation day - take a moment to look back on your time here at Shiloh...Elementary school is where you start training yourself on how to be as a student, a person, even an athlete...The things that you learn how to do at this age will help you later on!”
Cody then shared a personal experience about sports with the students. “When I played football at your age, I wanted to play defense, and all I did was work on tackling and covering people. I worked hard at perfecting my craft. I didn’t give up... I worked ten times harder than the guy beside me just to get noticed, and by the time I was in the tenth grade, I was playing on varsity with twelfth graders and I won the All-Conference defensive back of the year. School is basically the same way- when something doesn’t go your way the first time, you have to just keep trying! Don’t give up!”
Codi challenged the students to make good choices, and to make high school graduation a part of their plan now. “I cant stress to you all enough how important it is to make good choices!”
He urged the students to ‘be themselves’ as they move through life, and he shared that as a high school student he joined activities that interested him. He explained, “I am a football player, but I also sing and dance and I am an actor. It’s not always considered cool, but I don't care because I know that I enjoy doing all of those things and it makes me happy and that's all that really matters!”
Codi enthusiastically told the group of students that being a Shiloh student really propelled him into doing great things in his life. “Shiloh is one of the best elementary schools you could go to. They held you guys to a high standard and it will pay off when you get to middle school...I wish i could come back and be here at Shiloh! These were the best years of my life!”
The theme of his message to Shiloh’s 5th grade students was made clear throughout his speech: “No matter what, always remember: Don’t be cool; be yourself!”
Shiloh wishes our 5th graders and Codi the very best of luck in the future!
Written by: Scott Spencer, Principal
Posted: Jun 05, 2015 by Mark Greene