Here we are at the end of June after a tumultuous and uncertain year. One of the few things we have been looking forward to with certainty is that another class of Sullivan County students will be …
Here we are at the end of June after a tumultuous and uncertain year. One of the few things we have been looking forward to with certainty is that another class of Sullivan County students will be celebrating their graduation and venturing out into the world.
It’s one of our favorite times of year for a number of reasons. It’s a time of joy and optimism. A time when families join together to celebrate achievement and look forward to the opportunities ahead. Over the course of this weekend, many young people in our community will put on their caps and gowns alongside their friends and classmates. They’ll listen to speeches and wait patiently to hear their name called. Finally, they’ll get that piece of paper that represents their ticket to the rest of the world.
It’s a special time that’s underscored by the events of the past 15 months. Many students spent time away from the classroom and learning remotely. That sense of remoteness showed itself in the absence of other life events. No concerts or going to the movies with friends. No packed bleachers to watch the high school basketball game or other times spent together enjoying some of the most memorable and formative years of life. A loss of innocence from some seeing family members get sick or even lose their lives.
We cannot get back what has been lost, but we can take strength from our experiences and build a future that’s brighter, more compassionate and more prosperous.
A special recognition belongs to the teachers who helped ensure that our students get to celebrate this weekend. Through their tireless dedication they adapted to new teaching methods and kept their pupils from falling behind. Life goes on even while most everything else was put on hold. It’s thanks to our educators that graduating students did not simply keep up but have excelled and are ready to begin the next chapter of their lives.
To our graduates we say take a moment this weekend to pause and reflect on the crossroads of life at which you now find yourself. In the years and decades ahead you will surely have good times and bad times, but you’ve already taken everything this world can throw at you and you’re still standing.
So have fun, be safe and enjoy this time to celebrate. You’ve certainly earned it.