With mixed feelings, high school seniors approach graduation with a sense of nostalgia. In his eleven years as a student at Amelia Academy, senior Wilbert Allen said as much in his Chapel Talk, delivered on March 27. “Before I started my senior year, I had thoughts of “re-classing” because I didn’t feel like leaving yet,” he joked. “But, it’s time for me to move on to the next chapter of my life.”
Wilbert said that he has been particularly influenced by three people, and he offered a reflection on their role in his life. Even though there have been a few headmasters over the past eleven years, Wilbert said that none have impacted him as much as Mr. Taylor, the Academy’s current headmaster. Admitting to some reservations about Mr. Taylor at first, Wilbert said everything changed his sophomore year.
“In my sophomore year, he just happened to be my history teacher,” Wilbert said. “I’d have to say that was probably the best class I have taken.” In fact, Wilbert said that Mr. Taylor became someone he would call a friend during that year.
In his elective with Mr. Taylor this year, Wilbert said, “I’ve learned to view things from different perspectives. I’ve also learned how important it is to stay up-to-date and know what’s going on in the world,” he added.
Growing up in a family with three brothers and two sisters meant that Wilbert has never known a dull moment. However, he also said that he wouldn’t have it any other way because they are his family. His parents have had the biggest influence on his life, Wilbert said.
He has spent a great deal of time with his Dad. “Ever since I was old enough to walk, I was always going with my Dad to work, farms, and job sites,” he said. “I quickly learned that my Dad could do just about anything, and I always looked up to him,” Wilbert said.
There was something Wilbert didn’t realize during the good times of hard work spent with his Dad. He was teaching me how to be successful, Wilbert said. “One of my favorite things he has told me is, ‘Son, ain’t nobody going to give you anything in life.’” From this advice, Wilbert said that he has learned that he will have to work hard to be successful.
Having learned the value of hard work, Wilbert said it is also important to have fun with his friends, especially Tyler Gough. Friends since kindergarten, he and Tyler can always be found working in the shop, going fishing and hunting, and having a good time. Wilbert emphasized the importance of making great memories in the good times spent with friends.
All three friends – Mr. Taylor, Tyler, and especially his Dad – have played an important role in Wilbert’s life. “They’ve prepared me for life after I leave here [the Academy],” he said.
During his years at the Academy, Wilbert has been a member of the junior varsity and varsity baseball teams.
Attending Wilbert’s Chapel Talk were his parents Karen and Victor Allen. Also present were his siblings, Wavel (class of 2017) along with Emma, Wendell, Calvin, and Rupert, all of whom are Academy students.