Graduation Speech 2016
By Principal Thomas Bell
Graduation Day has arrived! Amazing weather for an amazing Senior Class. It is truly an honor to be recognized as your principal.
As you entered ninth grade, I received phone calls from colleagues at the middle school and even the elementary level regarding how this is an exceptional class. People raved about you. Well, I’m here today to say, without question, you have lived up to the hype! For the last four years I have regularly accepted compliments on your behalf from many different sources.
To the guests in the audience, please indulge me today, while I extend my personal thank you to the Class of 2016.
Thank you for serving as role models for the underclassmen in the building
Thank you for always trusting and believing that this district, this school, and this community had your best interests at heart.
Thank you for expressing your appreciation to those that reached out to you at various times during your school career. In doing so, you created a symbiotic relationship with the adults in your life. This provided them with the will to continue to want to help you achieve your goals.
To the parents, families, friends, teachers, coaches, and staff, thank you for instilling in these young men and women the moral values and the work ethic that have guided them through life thus far. You have done an incredible job! Give yourselves a round of applause.
It occurred to me, in preparing for today, that with the technology we have, we have focused on quantifying everything. No other class that has graduated before you has ever been tested to the degree that you have. Somewhere, in a computer file, somewhere, there are literally hundreds of numbers associated with your name. These numbers were supposedly measuring something about you. Initially, I thought, well, that’s fine, I guess. Data is important. But then, I paused and thought maybe it’s not fine. I beg you to consider that the things that count the most in life, often times can’t be counted. There are not scales for everything. Character traits that define greatness are not measurable. I offer to you, the Class of 2016 that integrity, humility, determination, friendship, respect, and compassion for others will be your roadmap to success. Not the numbers relating to a standardized test. To date, I know of no genius that has found a way to measure these most important traits that will be your pillars of success.
As you go forward and make your mark on the world, do so with pride and confidence. The world moves pretty quickly. Just think, dabbing didn’t even exist when you entered high school, and there was no such thing as emojis! For all we know, before this ceremony is over, Twitter and Instagram might be outdated! Hashtag, one can only hope! In all seriousness, you more than any other class are prepared for the challenges that lie ahead.
My parting advice is simply, plan for tomorrow, but live for today. Take the time to enjoy the people around you. They are what is truly important. Once again, thank you to the Class of 2016 you have been outstanding. It has been an honor and a privilege to be your principal.