Cursory: Jaxon Carter, a 6-year-old kindergarten student, delivered a touching valedictory speech at his graduation, honoring his late mother and expressing gratitude to his teacher and family. The speech moved everyone present, leaving a lasting impact. See details below.
During a kindergarten graduation ceremony, a 6-year-old student named Jaxon Carter moved parents, teachers, and fellow students to tears with a heartwarming speech dedicated to his late mother.
Jaxon’s mom, Taryn Marie Gainey, tragically passed away in a fire last July, leaving him and his father, Justin Carter, deeply affected. Just weeks after the devastating loss, Jaxon began attending New Dawn Academy, a STEM-focused charter school in Sterling Heights, Michigan.
“Just weeks later, Jaxon started kindergarten at a school that was new to him, New Dawn Academy, a public STEM-focused charter school in Sterling Heights, Michigan.
“I had to find a school for him last minute and it just so happened that the school was a great fit for him,” Carter said. “The school alone was a lifesaver.”
In June, at the end of the school year, Jaxon was asked by his teacher to deliver a speech at his kindergarten graduation ceremony.
“His teacher asked him if he could give a little speech,” Carter said. “The little speech turned into a full valedictory speech.”
Carter revealed that Jaxon collaborated with his grandmother in preparing the speech. However, neither he nor Linda Howard-Carter, allowed him to preview or listen to the speech before the graduation event.
The moving speech, lasting approximately four minutes, was delivered entirely from memory and honored Jaxon’s deceased mother from the beginning.
“When I started kindergarten at New Dawn Academy in August 2022, I was a little 5-year-old who had lost my beautiful mother a month before,” Jaxon said, taking a long breath after delivering that line.
“I learned to play with other kids, read books, answer or ask questions like how or why, use correct grammar, and use my school tablet.”
He continued, “My kindergarten year helped me grow braver, smarter, kind-hearted, and more grateful.”
In his heartfelt speech, Jaxon expressed his gratitude to his teacher, praising her for having a “big heart” and comforting him during his moments of sadness. He also extended his thanks to his four grandparents, who are playing a significant role in raising him. Additionally, he gave a special acknowledgment to his father, Carter, whom he called the “best daddy ever” and expressed his deep love for him.
Jaxon ended his speech by dedicating it to his mom.”I dedicate my speech, good grades, all school awards, and my kindergarten graduation to my beautiful mommy, who I will always love and miss so very much,” he said. “I know she will always be with me in my heart.”
Carter said he was “shocked and speechless” watching his son deliver such a moving address.”The expressions, the words, everything that he was saying, you could see that he meant every word of it,” he said.
“He didn’t fumble … it was remarkable.”
Carter said he and Jaxon talk about Marie Gainey daily in order to keep her memory alive.”He has a nice village where he has someone he can talk to at all times,” Carter said, noting that his parents and Marie Gainey’s parents are critical parts of that village.”They are a huge part of his success,” he added.
Conrad R. Koch, the principal of New Dawn Academy, expressed his immense admiration for Jaxon’s graduation speech, stating that it left not a single person in the room with dry eyes. Despite his grief, Jaxon consistently displayed positivity and enthusiasm, making him a standout student at the school.
“I greet all the students in the morning and I always had a ‘good morning’ from him or a high-five. He came to school with a good attitude, ready to learn,” Koch told “GMA.” “Whether it was the spelling bee, learning how to read, learning how to write his name, whatever the challenge was, Jaxon was able to meet it.”
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