Dear Class of 2021,
I want to be the first to congratulate you on your high school graduation. While much of the country shut down over this past year, you joined me in the effort to reopen the school safely. It has been difficult at times to accept the changes that have been made, but we have not given up, and as a result, our school learning community has continued to thrive amid adversity.
I am writing to you to share a challenge with you that will significantly help you on the next phase of life’s journey if you accept.
- Take time to understand how your past has shaped you, but do not stay there. Allow yourself to listen, learn, and grow due to the relationships you form with other people and the experiences you will have.
- Pursue your dreams, passions, and career interests. Develop a strong work ethic, be diligent, and have a plan. You will need these things to get there. Recognize that having a plan “B” isn’t a failure; it is a good strategy, problem-solving, and smart.
- Learn to be compassionate toward others even if they are different then you. Care about those who are less fortunate, give comfort to those who are hurting, and support those who are in need. Empathy, compassion, and concern are vital life skills.
- Accept the responsibility that comes with your new sense of freedom from “becoming an adult.” There will be many decisions to make, so choose wisely and consider the natural consequences of your actions. What “feels” right, fun, and easy can be deceptive, so surround yourself with wise people who can guide, mentor, and support you as you make decisions about your future.
I am looking forward to greeting you and talking with you more on Sunday, May 16, at your graduation ceremony. It will be a day that I treasure because I will serve as a witness to one of your greater accomplishments. As you consider your future, please know that I am proud to have been your Superintendent and honored to be a part of your Shenandoah High School legacy.