July 10, 2014

The Best Kept Secret of Edgewood City Schools

Shh!  It's a secret! 

 We have an unbelievable faculty!

High School ELA teacher, Brooke Aufranc Gabbard was thrilled when she saw a blogger post her graduation speech. Edgewood City Schools is so, incredibly proud of Brooke.

If you were not able to attend the 2014 graduation, please take a moment to read her speech.

Nearly every one of you has asked me this question: “Why do we have to read this book?” I’m going to take the next few minutes to remind you, why, for 18 years, you’ve read the books you did.
You started your life reading about colors, numbers, shapes, and animals. That knowledge was the basic foundation for Mrs. Domashko’s biology class, Mr. Pletz’s digital art class, and Mrs. Vangen’s Honors Pre-Calc class.
You moved on to Dr. Seuss, who taught you that “The more that you read, the more things you’ll know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
Your next series as a child was the Berenstein Bears, where that tightly knit family who lived in a tree taught you good table manners, why it’s important to tell the truth, and how to cope with a difficult sibling.
In middle school, you had your heart broken when Billy’s dogs died in Where the Red Fern Grows. You learned about love and the redemptive qualities of nature when the red ferns grow on the graves of the dogs.
You entered high school and read Romeo and Juliet, which exposed you to the power of love, but also implored you to carefully read any letters you receive before making rash decisions. Remember, Romeo was warned that Juliet would only appear to be dead, but she really wasn’t. However, he refused to heed that warning. That lesson was echoed in Julius Caesar, when Caesar’s friends turned on him. He was warned not to go to the Senate that day, but he refused to listen to anyone.
So—listen to others’ advice. You don’t have to follow through on anyone’s thoughts but your own, but most people do have your best interests at heart. On the other hand, The Crucible taught you the dangers that can occur when you blindly follow the crowd and refuse to think for yourself.
Somewhere along the line you may have read the Harry Potter series where you learned all the different ways courage can define you. Dumbledore also taught us not to waste time fearing what comes next, and that’s advice we all should follow. But really, Harry Potter mostly taught just how cool it would be to go to Hogwarts.
You walked the streets of Maycomb, Alabama with Jem, Scout, Dill, and Boo, and in those streets, Atticus taught you one of the most important lessons—don’t judge a person until you’ve walked around in their shoes.
Many of you ended the year with Hamlet, who showed you what it was to be or to not to be. But the most important advice comes from Polonius as he speaks to his son Laertes. Polonius says, “This above all: To thine own self be true. And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou cans’t not then be false to anyone.”
It’s been an honor to be one of those teachers who made you read books. I can’t wait to see all the incredible things you do with your lives. As you go, remember all the lessons you’ve learned—from books!—and remember, if you stay true to yourself, you’ll never be disappointed. 

If you would like to leave a message for Brooke, use the comment section below.  


  1. Beautiful! I know Brooke to be an outstanding teacher, and what a great graduation speech. ~ Amy W.

  2. Beautiful! I know Brooke to be an outstanding teacher, and what a great graduation speech. ~ Amy W.