Bennett David '18 gave his Senior Speech to the Christ School community on August 20
Senior Speeches a Continuing Tradition
Every boy in 12th grade invited to address peers, faculty
Father Kirk Brown has been at Christ School since 1995, and the head of St. Joseph's Chapel is always willing to give up the pulpit for a Senior Speech. Brown borrowed the idea from an Asheville School chaplain 19 years ago.
Every Greenie in the 12th grade is invited, but not obligated, to speak during chapel service. Speakers are introduced by a faculty member, usually their advisor, and deliver a message of their choosing to fellow students and faculty, as well as family members if they are able to attend.
New for this school year, every boy who speaks has the incentive of receiving his Christ School Coin prior to graduation. Other seniors must wait for their coin to arrive in the mail.
"It's an unbelievable part of what we do here at Christ School," Brown said. "We dedicate an entire day to that boy. I take two things away from every Senior Speech. First, the relationship between the faculty member and the student. And secondly, to see a boy come out of his shell and share something that the rest of us might not have seen otherwise. There have been so many profound moments, and I've learned that you are not going to predict them."
So far this school year, Bennett David '18 and Jonathan Gooch '18 have given Senior Speeches, and Bronson Gatts '18 gets his turn Wednesday. The Senior Speeches are spaced out, with one to three occurring every week.
Jonathan, who is from Asheville, came to Christ School as a Headmaster's Scholar and could be the next Eagle Scout on campus. Jonathan said that "coming to Christ School was one of the best things to ever happen to me," and encouraged others to "look for ways to make yourself better" during his speech on September 6.
"When we started doing this in 1998, it was very hit or miss," Brown said. "It has evolved nicely, and the ones who choose to do it, do a really good job. One of the things I want to see at every chapel service is for us to leave changed from the way we got there. This has become a great way to do that."