Words of Wisdom: Most Important Lessons

Posted on: Thu, 05/31/2018 - 09:00

Reflections during graduation week, Class of 2018

One of the things I enjoy during my visits with seniors is getting them to answer a question and then using their responses as part of my graduation speech. This year, I asked them to tell me the most important lesson they learned in high school. Apparently, that is a very difficult question to answer!

As always, our students impress me with the thoughtful responses to this question. And they express their thoughts eloquently! 

Across all 10 high schools, there are themes that emerge in the lessons our seniors have learned.

  • Effort. Our students have learned the importance of giving your best effort if you want to be successful.
  • Failure. They understand that failure is part of learning and growing. It leads to success!
  • Risk Taking. Many students shared that getting out of their comfort zone led to their most memorable and valuable high school experiences.
  • Authenticity. Students have learned the importance of being true to themselves and not following the crowd. This self-acceptance was an important part of becoming a young adult.
  • Accepting Others. I am always touched by the comments from students who have learned the value of meeting different people and seeking to understand them. Our seniors embrace diversity!
  • Kindness. Students recognize that caring about other people makes a difference for them and for you.
  • Embrace Opportunity. Seniors realize how many opportunities they had in high school and definitely encourage younger students to take advantage of these options, particularly those that give you new experiences!

And every year, I have a few students who share a hard lesson learned--don't procrastinate!

At a time when we celebrate our graduates' academic achievement, I am happy to celebrate their outstanding character, too, as evidenced by the most important lessons they say they learned in high school.

Congratulations Class of 2018! You make us proud!!

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