In the past couple of weeks, area high schools have graduated a class of fine young people whose accomplishments and ambitions are evidence that a lot is going right in our hometowns and our schools.
We applaud those young people and wish them the best as they navigate their way into adult life.
They’ve spent year after year, thousands of hours, going to school, paying attention in class, doing their homework – in short, learning what they need to know to be successful in the world they will enter. They’ve progressed from fat crayons and safety scissors to the tools and skills they’ll need now. Each step has prepared them for the next – and this next one is a giant leap, but they’re ready.
They have learned with the guidance of their teachers, the encouragement of their families, and the support of community members who understand the value of education.
Thanks are due to school board members, volunteers, voters, taxpayers, coaches, school nurses, office staff, paraprofessionals, administrators, custodians – a whole lot of people who have a vested interest in the success of these students.
Let’s give the lion’s share of the credit, though, to those who have sweated exams, completed outstanding senior projects and portfolios, performed valuable community service, filled out applications, written essays, worked summer jobs and who are excited to tackle their dreams.
Members of the Class of 2018 now will start off on diverging paths: careers, the military, further education, families, gap years, detours, unexpected opportunities.
Some will stay close to home, some eventually will come back, and a lot won’t, but we expect them to be contributors wherever they are.
What they aren’t likely to become is sideline complainers. They’re going to step up into their responsibilities for building a world in which the next generation thrives and grows. They will be agents of positive change when change is needed, and they will be a stabilizing force in a challenging world.
We’re proud of you, 2018 graduates, and we’re both hopeful and confident that your future is bright.
It won’t always be easy, but you are absolutely ready for takeoff.