K. Ceres Wright

Being an introvert, I found it difficult to speak in public. To help remedy this, I joined Toastmasters. It has helped tremendously. Also, I get to use my characters as subjects of some of my speeches. For the Specialty Occasion category, I wrote an acceptance speech for an award that one of my characters, Dr. Roman Gaius, gives. Read it below:

Ladies and gentlemen, the students and faculty of the Smith School are here tonight to celebrate Dr. Roman Gaius for a lifetime of service.

Dr. Gaius has been helping the community since he first opened his psychiatric practice by treating children with challenges such as autism, OCD, and ADHD. One boy in particular, Kelvin, had an anger management issue, as well as attention deficit disorder. He also had telekinesis and had pinned a teacher to the wall during a heated disagreement. Dr. Gaius showed up to the classroom and talked the boy down until he let the teacher go. He then testified on behalf of that boy in court to get the charges reduced, and then visited him in lockup every week. Upon his release, Dr. Gaius treated him until he finally learned to cope with his anger issues and he eventually became a psychiatrist himself. Ladies and gentlemen, that boy is me.

My friend, Dylan, once told me he got into a fight with another kid and picked him up to throw him down a flight of stairs. But just when he was holding the other boy over his head, Dr. Gaius’ words popped into his mind—“I’m not visiting you in jail.” Dylan said he put the boy down nice as you please, because he didn’t want to disappoint Dr. Gaius.

Dr. Gaius is passionate and compassionate, determined and soft-hearted. He has boundless perseverance, is quick to laugh and, as all of us here know, is completely obsessed with butter pecan ice cream and football.

Since he first opened the Smith School 25 years ago, Dr. Gaius has helped countless children learn to manage their challenges, strengthen their abilities, and mature into capable adults. He has ushered them from the world of school into the world of work, and taught them to navigate the myriad complex relationships they would find themselves in along the way. He has been more than a dean. He’s been a mentor, a friend, and a role model…even though he’s a Steelers fan.

It is with great pleasure that we at the Smith School bestow the Lifetime Achievement Award to Dr. Roman Gaius!


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