As I am reflecting upon the year and graduation, I thought that our graduates from our inaugural year as an alternative school would appreciate the graduation speech given 10 years ago. Thank you for the memories, here is a good one.
"Good evening ladies and gentlemen, I am honored with this opportunity to speak tonight and to have shared in the lives of the graduates sitting before us. I would like to congratulate the very relieved parents who supported their child through the trials and tribulations of high school. Graduates, always remember your parents believed in you when others had no expectation of success. Their goal of your graduation is being realized tonight.
I would also like to take this moment to thank the staff of Hidden Lake High School, as they are the people that create the soul of our building. They have given their love, their support and have dedicated their lives towards your success. Finally, I would like to thank the superintendent and the Board of Education for their belief in, and support of the alternative school.
As I reflect, many students held trepidation and concern last spring when they heard about the future of Hidden Lake. There were tears, anger, and frustration. Change is difficult – it rocks the foundation of what we know and trust. Yet, change is always a learning experience. Hidden Lake became your second home where you learned to grow into your school, you grew up in our school, and you grew strong here. Now it has become the time for you to break the bonds of high school to grow some more. Hidden Lake wants nothing more than for you to continue to grow, and share your growth with others.
The potential of the graduates here is astounding. This senior class alone has extraordinary mothers, future fire fighters & police officers, bricklayers, cake decorators and speakers. The seeds of success abound within this class. Hidden Lake has been able to nurture and nourish each child until they have developed into strong individuals that can compete with anybody, anywhere, at any time. In the words of 50 Cent, “You can’t allow people not believing in you to discourage you.” It is time for you to never be underrated or underestimated again. I personally challenge the class of 2008, no matter where and what you do in life, to follow your bliss, do something remarkable, do something worthy of a hero.
This year, you chose the Hero as our mascot. Why? Because you, Hidden Lake Heroes, overcome any and all hurdles, you overcome life when it gets in the way, you overcome great odds each and everyday. You are Heroes.
I leave you tonight asking that you demonstrate your power through your example and extend grace and mercy to others. Our differences make life remarkable, but commonality is by far, more important. Take the time to find commonality with others. Hidden Lake will be measured by your achievements and accomplishments I know that you will make us proud. Welcome to the rest of your life!"
My Best to you,