To the Graduating Class of 2020:
Graduation is an important milestone, a rite of passage steeped in tradition, pomp and circumstance. Garbed in traditional cap and gown, surrounded by classmates and educators, parents, grandparents, family and friends, your name rings out and you walk across the stage to receive your diploma. Afterwards, there is celebration, a chance to dress up, pictures to be taken and a prom to attend.
For the Class of 2020, graduation will look very different. This isn’t the senior year you anticipated following thirteen years of hard work and study. As much as we wish we could give you all the tradition, pomp and circumstance you deserve, we cannot. As we acknowledge your loss, we also acknowledge and celebrate your fortitude, flexibility and forbearance.
As Spring Break ended and schools remained closed, you continued your studies at home. You did it with computers, Zoom, group chats and phone calls from your teachers. You persevered! You adapted, became more resourceful and innovative not only in your studies but in how you interacted with others, how you kept your social bonds strong and intact. These circumstances may in fact be your greatest teacher, as the challenge of this moment continues to cultivate your resiliency, as you clarify your purpose, your value system and your character.
Not since World War II has a graduating class been called to step into the future with more purpose and less certainty. Like those who graduated during WWII, you are being asked to “grow up faster” than previous graduating classes and like them, have come face-to-face with what really matters; begin to think about how you –blessed with a world-class education— might act and work in service to yourself, your community and the world.
Be brave. Be bold. Believe in yourself and in a better world. Go forth with the force of your convictions, the beauty of your dreams and the strength of your character.
Frank Lento, Chair, SD5, on behalf of SD5 Trustees
Silke Yardley, Superintendent, SD5
Alan Rice, Secretary-Treasurer, SD5