Wow! The school year is over and only a few more moments before you, the Class of 2013 become official high school graduates.
Did you think this time would actually get here? Did you think you would finally not have to hear “Let’s have a great day today; it’s up to you to make it happen”?
You have reached this day due to your hard work and commitment to learning. At this point, you no longer have to worry about your next high school homework assignment, next paper due date, next exam. Those worries will come again soon enough for those of you heading to college in the next few months. But today we celebrate your achievement of high school graduation.
It is clearly a milestone in your life. I’m sure that you’ll have many more memorable moments, but today is special. You’ll be asked by friends and family — if you haven’t been already — now that you’ve graduated from high school, what are your plans? What college are you going to? What do you plan to study? Have you found a job yet? Have you thought about enlisting in the military?
Let’s think for a few moments about what is important in the world Let’s consider the philosophy of Charles Schultz.
You know Charles Schultz. He is the creator of the Peanuts comic strip. He asks if you can:
• Name the five wealthiest people in the world.
• Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.
• Name the last five winners of the Miss America pageant.
• Name 10 people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.
• Name the last half dozen Academy Award winners for best actor and actress.
• Name the last decade’s worth of World Series winners, Super bowl champs, NBA Champs.
Could you name them? Maybe not.
Those are all first-rate top notch, noteworthy accomplishments.
Now try this:
• List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.
• Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.
• Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.
• Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special.
• Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.
I bet you can come up with names for those questions.
The point is: The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials, the most money or the most awards. They simply are the ones who care the most.
Recently, our seniors recently reflected about their Liberty High School teachers. In the Senior Issue of the Patriot Press, the LHS student newspaper, here are some of the quotes from the graduating seniors describing their LHS teachers:
• “Helped get me excited about learning.”
• “Pushed me to try harder.”
• “The teacher that knows everything about me.”“
• “I have learned that no matter how big a problem is, I can overcome it.”
• “Really made learning fun.”
• “Wonderful person and role model.”
• “Taught me a successful work ethic.”
• “Fostered skills that I will use the rest of my life.”
• “Taught me to never give up.”
• “Inspired me to try harder.”
• “The most caring person I have ever met.”
Members of the Class of 2013, your observations and comments about your teachers show that you understand what is important. And to the LHS staff: I can’t say it any better than our graduates have. Thank you to the Liberty High School staff, for making such an impression on our graduates.
So, seniors as you go forward in your life’s journey, remember the personal touch means the most. You’ll achieve great things, accomplish much. I hope you make a lot of money, but most importantly, be happy and remember what really is most important.
Today, you’re a LHS senior. In a few moments you’ll be LHS graduates. But before we get there, think back four years ago when you entered ninth grade. You were probably a little scared, maybe felt a little overwhelmed. Your freshman yearbook had on the cover “The Making of a Liberty Eagle.”
Go back and look at that yearbook. As you began your high school career, your yearbook stated what was needed to become the finished product – a strong, intelligent, joyful and proud Eagle.
You have become that strong, intelligent, joyful and proud Eagle. You’ve learned a lot in four years, made new friends and grown as a person. You’re graduating as potential leaders; you’re prepared. Life won’t be perfect, but you’re prepared to handle it. You have a solid foundation.
But every one of you can do more and develop more. Remember the lessons taught by your parents, teachers and coaches. Remember the people that mean the most to you are the ones who care about you. Remember to give back to your community.
In the words of Winston Churchill: “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”
Be sure to give.
Congratulations and best wishes always.