Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Words of Encouragement to the Class of 2013 From the Board of Directors

Hello and Good Afternoon everyone. 

Welcome to our Faculty, Administrators, staff, Parents, Families and of course to the Graduating Students.  Thank you for supporting our students at this year's commencement ceremony.   I am proud and honored today to represent the Hudson School Board of Education in celebrating our Graduates and offering some encouraging words as you look to your future.  This is a celebration of a great accomplishment!

I am encouraged by the future of our youth as I look out at your faces full of hopes, dreams and aspirations, eager for the next chapter of your life to begin.  This is the first chapter in your Journey of Life, a milestone to be celebrated.  You have spent the past four years achieving the Learner Performance Goals and developing the Keys to Success.  Each and every one of you has incurred some obstacles and barriers along the way, from overcoming Academic challenges to personal challenges. Some of those challenges may have been small and some may have been large but you overcame each one through persistence and determination to arrive at this day.  We are grateful for your many contributions that make our school shine in the community including: Academics, Athletics, Performing Arts, FFA, Yearbook, Newspaper and the many other extra-curricular programs that benefited from your talents.

I am reminded of a phrase that my Grandfather always said when we complained about the demands of school.  He would tell us “Get an education – it is the one thing they can’t take away from you”.  I didn’t quite understand what he meant until much later in life, but those words always guided me when faced with some obstacle.  

You see my Grandfather came to this country with nothing but a Dream.  He sold his homemade Mexican food from a stand on a street corner in New Orleans beginning in the early 1930’s. He taught himself English and studied to become a US Citizen.  He earned enough money to purchase a ½ acre of land in a thriving city to build a home and raise his family.  He encouraged all of his children and grandchildren to get an education. He knew that an education was the Ticket to leveling the playing field and making one competitive in the job market.  

Through his persistence, overcoming obstacles, along the way he found success, even during the Great Depression, all because of his determination to achieve his American Dream of a better life.
Getting a High School Education today is just as important as it was many years ago.  It truly is the Ticket to leveling the playing field.  Once you walk across the stage today, you will ALL be High School Graduates regardless of your background or status.  You have developed a great foundation and have acquired the keys to success to begin the next chapter in life.

I challenge you to continue to “Get an Education” whether you step directly into the workforce, enlist the military service or pursue Higher Education.  With an education you have choice – Learning from every situation you encounter.

As I stated earlier, I didn’t quite understand what my grandfather meant until experiences witnessed  much later in life, for instance: You can be laid-off, downsized, have to move from your home or any number of unexpected life events but you still have your education.   I never wondered what I would do or where I would work because I had an Education – that gave me choice, freedom and security as well as a chance to give back to my community.

Now because of your persistence and determination along with the encouragement of your parents, teachers, family and friends, you have the same opportunity to build upon your educational foundation acquiring choice, freedom, security and community engagement along the way.

Today as you leave the stage the field is level –You earned your Ticket!

What is your DREAM?
What will you do with it? Where will you go? How will you continue to engage your community?
Use your Ticket Wisely and be amazed at the places you will go and the fun you can have!
On Behalf of the Board of Education, Congratulations to each one of you– Enjoy your Journey!   

Karyn Finn
Hudson School Board Director

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