On June 13th, I had the great privilege and honor of addressing our school’s graduates before reading their names as they proudly accepted their diplomas from our school head and principal. I share with you my words in this post!
Good Afternoon Class of 2013!
I must confess that sharing this stage with all of you – and following your performances and the words of your educators is most humbling. I begin by thanking you all for sharing yourselves with us tonight and with our school community for a combined 500 plus years. You are 75 whole hearted people who inspire others with your courage and your compassion.
One of the first things we learn as trustees is that we must leave our ‘parenting hat’ outside the boardroom. But it is challenging for me to strictly abide by this rule especially AS I have known so many of you and your families, watched your performances and games and even enjoyed your participation at board meetings over your combined 500 plus school years.
So this afternoon – as you are about to receive your diplomas – I proudly speak both as Board Chair and as a parent!
First as Board Chair, I want to Thank all of your parents for entrusting our school to be their partner. Your parents have made sacrifices, driven endless hours and invested time and resources to arrive at your graduation day – an incredibly satisfying – and may I point out – most profitable Investment that NO doubt will pay off DAILY over the next century!
As a parent who has watched her own children pass across this stage and receive their diplomas, I offer my fellow parents one bit of valuable advice that is more difficult than it sounds -‘The best way to hold on to your children, is to let them go!’
Second as Board Chair, I want to Thank all of your teachers for ‘Being as eager to learn from you as to teach you’. Our teachers view a class of students whether they are 6 or 18 yrs old as a group of creative and thoughtful individuals who they masterfully encourage and challenge to grow as thinkers and learners. This is gift that I know you will carry with you for the rest of your lives!
As a parent, I want to Express My Gratitude to all of our teachers for ‘Accepting our students for who they are and playing a large role in guiding them to learn who they are.’
Third, as Board Chair, I want to Thank all of your administrators and staff for creating a second home at our school. While on the surface it may seem simple, I have seen the endless hours, care and thought that goes into ensuring that our school is a warm, embracing and vital community. The proof of what this connectivity creates is apparent each day on our campuses and alive on this stage with each and every one of you!
As a parent, I want to Express My Gratitude to the administration for creating a safe community where our children are truly seen and appreciated for who they are.
In Closing DEAR CLASS OF 2013 – as Board Chair, I want to THANK YOU the graduates for giving the TRUSTEES the true meaning that fuels our board work. The JOY you shared with us tonight and for all your years at our school are permanently etched in the life of the school. I encourage you to carry this JOY along side your iPhone wherever your life takes you. Your JOY will keep you connected to who you are as individuals; and the iPhone will keep you connected to just about everything else.
And this brings me to my final detour from trustee to parent – Dear graduates: Stay Connected! PLEASE CALL and TEXT YOUR PARENTS. Whether it be walking across the campus or studying in the library – I promise that your parents will be happy to hear from you. I cannot tell you the great JOY parents feel when we receive a simple 3 CHARACTER Text that reads I LOVE YOU.
On behalf of the School’s Board of Trustees, CONGRATULATIONS on YOUR GRADUATION - THE WONDERFUL CLASS OF 2013!