Global Thinkers – Intelligent – Curious – Creative - Talented - Motivated – Endearing – Committed - Open-Minded – Unique - Passionate – Green. These are just a few of the many wonderful adjectives that have been used to describe you, the members of the Class of 2011… and in my short time as your Superintendent, I have gained a strong sense of who you, and I want you to know that I wholeheartedly concur with these descriptors! I only regret that I haven’t had more time to get to know you and to witness first hand your many talents and accomplishments. You are an impressive group of young men and women. Your intellectual, artistic, technological and athletic talent is your legacy. You have made the most of what your families, your communities and your schools have provided for you. You should be proud!
As you celebrate graduation and prepare to go off to college, to the military or to the world of work, you will receive many well wishes and much advice. I ask you keep in mind that for many of us who have gone before you, graduations bring to mind nostalgic memories of youth in addition to remembrances of goals and ambitions once held. Please know that in every wish of luck, cautionary tale, and expression of encouragement to pursue your dreams, there is a bit of a self-reminder built-in. Your successes and achievements serve as an inspiration as well as a reminder to each of us to never lose sight of our dreams and our passions.
Therefore, I challenge you to take your talents out into the world with the passion, the commitment and the courage of your convictions to effect positive change wherever you go. Your teachers from Kindergarten to Senior year have prepared you well and provided a strong foundation for your future. As you each set forth on life’s journey, I ask you to keep in mind the words of one of my favorite authors…Henry David Thoreau:
It is remarkable how easily and insensibly we all fall into a particular route, and make a beaten track for ourselves. I had not lived [in the woods] a week before my feet wore a path from my door to the pond-side; and though it is five or six years since I trod it, it is still quite distinct. It is true, I fear, that others may have fallen into it, and so helped to keep it open. The surface of the earth is soft and impressible by the feet of men; and so with the paths which the mind travels. How worn and dusty, then, must be the highways of the world, how deep the ruts of tradition and conformity! I did not wish to take a cabin passage, but rather to go before the mast and on the deck of the world, for there I could best see the moonlight amid the mountains.
I urge you while on your pursuits in life to “go before the mast and onto the deck of the world,” to avoid always following the “beaten path” and instead to “hear the beat of a different drummer”… “step to the music [that you] hear, however measured, or far away." Along the road of life there are many times when duty and responsibility take precedent, but always remember who you are today and the dreams and passions that move you and excite you – always look for the moonlight amid the mountains.
Congratulations & Good Luck!