Many high school seniors display an unusual mix of emotions. Most outwardly dislike school. They count down the days and they celebrate as the day that marks the end draws near; but ultimately, most become very nostalgic as the realization of the final days with their school family becomes more apparent. They become apprehensive as the unknown of the future interrupts the comfort of their routine lives.
On Saturday, May 15, 2021, USD 113 hosted three graduations. These are community celebrations of accomplishment. We not only celebrate the accomplishments of our scholars, but we also celebrate the accomplishment of years of investment in education. I am proud that we have invested in the lives of our kids. I am encouraged that our communities place such a high value on investing in the future.
Each of our district’s graduations emphasizes the values of the local community. They reflect our history and our heritage and include time-honored traditions that are unique to each school. The community celebration of graduation is one of the advantages of living in our rural communities.
Graduation marks the end of an era and the reformation of a young adult’s identity. It is marked by celebrations of families. It is marked by the recognition of those who earned scholarships and honors. It is a time of crying, laughter and goodbyes.
Participating in the ceremony of graduation is a part of the learning process. One piece of advice that I have heard from a senior class sponsor is, “Show respect for your classmates. The time that you have walking across the stage is yours. The rest of the ceremony belongs to the class and the community. Everyone does this differently. Some will cry. That’s okay. Some will laugh. That is also okay. We’re going to do this with dignity and style. Be safe afterward.” Good advice for graduation and life.