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Meet Zoe Duggan-New Bern High Salutatorian

New Bern High School Celebrates Zoe Duggan, Salutatorian


Each year, SA国际传媒 County Schools features the closing remarks from the valedictorian and salutatorian from our traditional high schools.  This year New Bern High School is proud to introduce Zoe Duggan as the salutatorian for the class of 2023. Miss Duggan had an opportunity to deliver her speech during the graduation commencement on June 9, 2023, at New Bern High School. Students, families, and special guests were elated to have the chance to celebrate the Class of 2023 outside, on a very beautiful, crisp morning. As each graduate walked across the stage to receive their diploma, you could hear the joy and happiness expressed by all inZoe attendance. Please enjoy Zoe Duggan’s speech as we celebrate the Class of 2023 and all their achievements this year.


Good morning, everyone. Thank you for being here.

I want to thank my incredible family most importantly. I also must thank two constants over the past four years here at New Bern High School—Principal Simmons as well as my second Mom, Coach, and Counselor, Heidi Ricks, for treating me as a young woman, as opposed to just a student-athlete.


Graduates we can now officially relate to Drake, when he says, “Started from the bottom, now we here.” Some of you have not seen me walk the halls or sitting in class. However, you have probably seen me on the volleyball court or at many New Bern establishments including, but not limited to - the CookOut parking lot on Friday nights, Musashi’s with the team after our games, or really any of the Mexican restaurants around town with my friends. But, if you don’t know me or haven’t seen me, hi, my name is Zoe Duggan, and I am your Class of 2023 Salutatorian.


All of us can relate to the everlasting and dreadful question of, “what do you want to do after high school?” Some of us have our whole life planned out, and some of us are very uncertain of what the future holds. My personal response to this question is… “I want to be more successful and make more money than the boys who played me in high school.”


Graduation is a very hopeful and exciting day for the future. It is a beautiful day of celebration, where we can look back on how amazing life is, and how much we have changed. We grew up on Legos and American Girl dolls… and here we are… about to go our own ways. We went from driving Razor scooters to cars. From barely making JV to starting varsity or even… winning a state championship. This is the last moment we all have together in one place. This is it.


I hope you all can look back on these past four years and smile. The success and failures throughout this school will all be a memory in just a few short minutes. Some of us will leave with fulfillment, and some of us will leave hungry for more. These next years of your life will challenge you to be okay with being alone. In this next phase of your life - Be bold. Be real. Be ambitious. Live with passion. Walk with grace. And never place limitations on who you can be.

Congratulations graduates on your incredible achievement. And in the wise words of the Street Poet and Critically Acclaimed Author… Khloe Kardashian, “People don’t like change. Fate loves the fearless though. You’ve got to take a chance. You got to be fearless.”

Thank you, and for the last time as a student of New Bern High School… Go Bears.