Each year, seniors at Shattuck-St. Mary’s School deliver a speech to their peers on a topic of their choosing in the Newhall Auditorium. Often equal parts clever and moving, emotional and personal, each speech offers a glimpse into the lives, experiences, struggles, and triumphs of SSM seniors.
Throughout the 2018-19 school year, we will share these speeches with the SSM community and hope that you enjoy the humor, wisdom, and powerful reflections conveyed by our senior students.
October 26th, 2000 was the day I was born and was first introduced to my two older brothers Rory and Tyler Vesel.
You might be asking why they have different last names if we are brothers. We have different fathers. Their dad, Rory Vesel, Sr., died in a car crash when they were little. My mom remarried a few years later, and her last name changed to Schneider, the name I was born with. So, technically Rory and Tyler are my half brothers. But I have never thought of them that way. They are my brothers. They feel the same way about me.
They were there from the beginning, the day I spoke my first word, the day I took my first step. We have always done everything together. Even though they are six and eight years older, we hang out. Like normal brothers, we sometimes fight. They were the ones that taught me how to skate, especially Tyler. He graduated from Shattuck-St. Mary’s in 2013. He now plays in the AHL and is trying to make an NHL team.
Rory and I are close, but Tyler has always been my role model. We are very much alike. On the phone, my grandma can’t tell us apart. When Tyler was going here, I could only see him when I came up to watch a game. On those visits, I hoped I’d have the chance to come here too, just like him. He’s the main reason I am standing here today giving this senior speech.
However, when the time came and I was finally old enough to have my own shot at an SSM career, I was scared. I didn’t want to leave home and go to a school where I knew only one other person from my hometown, Taylor Stewart. I thought it was going to be too hard. After several long talks with Tyler, he convinced me that Shattuck is where I belonged. Not just because he went here, but because he knew it would make me a better person, like it did for him.
Last year when I didn’t make the top hockey team, I wanted to leave. My brother called me the morning that the team rosters came out and told me how cool it actually is to graduate from Shattuck. He told me that everything was going to be okay, I still had another year to make the top team. He was right. This year I made the top team and can’t wait to graduate. I can only hope I can live up to the example Tyler has always set for me.
While Tyler was gone at Shattuck, my other brother Rory and I spent lots of time together. We grew really close when it was just us at home. He was the one who drove me around. I know I annoyed him. When I was eight and his girlfriend Val came over, I always wanted to hang out with them and play knee hockey. They are married now, and Val is a big sister to me. Rory has been through everything with me and is always there for me no matter what.
I couldn’t have asked for better older brothers. Thank you, Tyler, for helping me get to where I am today, here at Shattuck, and growing as a person. Thank you, Rory, for being the best big brother anyone could ask for and always being there for me. And thank you mom and dad for everything you have done, all the driving back and forth, supporting me through all my injuries, I know I don’t tell you enough but I am truly thankful.