“Those who truly and fully succeed in life have indeed failed along the way, but they have had the strength and courage to get back up and keep going. They capitalize on the mistakes that they have made in order to improve for the next time. They don’t forget to look back and just be glad to have had the opportunity. Whatever happens, you must have the determination to continue striving to be the best you can be. Success is not about the mistakes that you make, but your ability to make up for it afterwards. That’s what determines your character.”
Also in his address, Chris thanked his friends from Shorecrest, Boy Scouts and soccer - in addition to the adults who “guided me and pushed me to be my best self.”
What does it take to build a Valedictorian at a challenging Prep school? Chris says he has a fairly consistent diet with an average of 2 cups of coffee per week, goes to bed around 11pm - until senior year when he pushed that closer to midnight to allow for time spent on college applications, he took notes digitally on an iPad which he felt increased his efficiency and ability to stay engaged in class, and does not listen to music or watch TV while studying - although is occasionally distracted by his younger brothers.
Upper School Science Teacher Erich Schneider adds to Chris’ resume with, “It is clear that he models our school’s core values well, particularly when it comes to respect and integrity. His classmates confirmed that years ago, when they elected him to our school’s Honors Council.”
Do you think you have him figured out? Shorecrest’s Associate Director of College Counseling, Bonni Klement, thought so at first glance. “When I first met Chris Canizares as a freshman I thought I had him pegged… shy, straight laced, maybe even a little boring. However, as I’ve gotten to know him better over the last four years, I now see he isn’t shy, he’s just observant. He isn’t straight laced, he’s just respectful. He definitely isn’t boring, and actually has been one of my most surprising students in the Class of 2019.”
One such surprise came when all of the Shorecrest Chargers saw Chris do a backflip (or standing back tuck) during Homecoming powder puff cheerleading
. Until Commencement many didn’t know how Chris could have possibly picked up such a skill.
“During Junior year I learned how to backflip. With my low level of flexibility and limited experience in gymnastics, what could possibly go wrong? I set out to achieve this goal by first getting over the fear of throwing my body backwards in the air. I did so on a trampoline, and eventually I was able to transition this to solid ground; however, not without breaking my toe upon impact with the pool floaty that my friend and I had made into a sketchy tumbling track. Is my right toe to this day still bigger than my left toe? Yes. Was it worth it? Absolutely!”
Once you get to know Chris, you’ll flip over him too. He’s an outstanding young man, and is bound for great accomplishments in his future.