2018 Closing Ceremonies Speech

GOOD MORNING! As always, The College School is a wonderful place to be….and I am grateful that you are here to share in this occasion. I want to offer a special thanks to parents, family members and extended friends of our TCS community for taking time to be here this morning. I also want to thank our TCS Alumni for having the heart to return to this campus to celebrate with their extended College School family. I cannot express how meaningful it is to have former students return to show their support. I thank each of you for continuing to care about us the way we continue to care about you.

It is always an honor to stand here this morning. There’s nothing I enjoy more than celebrating great achievements, particularly those of our TCS students. Today marks a special milestone in your life, and each one of you SO deserves to be celebrated.

Today is equally unique for your parents, whose support has brought you here. So, I personally want to thank and congratulate each parent for choosing The College School for your children, for making the sacrifice to send them here, and for putting trust in our staff to guide them in becoming more confident and capable individuals. It is you that makes today a reality.

While Closing Ceremonies is an exciting day, it is also a challenging one. You are leaving the comforts of home and STEAMING AHEAD into a whole new journey.

In September, our school-wide theme was A Destination for Learning. Today, as I reflect on this past year, it is clear that TCS has been a learning destination for all of us. Together, we have reached new goals and journeyed to new places.

As Scientists, we became observant explorers, collecting data and experimenting with a process of ideas to determine a result.

In Technology, we were fortunate to experience travel into both virtual and natural realities, witnessing new sights and diverse cultures.

As Engineers, we learned that there is never one single right answer and that one problem can have many solutions. We also engaged in hands-on activities where collaboration was essential.

As Artists, Mrs. Kempista inspired us to design a gallery of creations rooted from all around the world.

And finally, as Mathematicians, we encountered challenging concepts that didn’t always have clear solutions, but together, we identified new strategies to become powerful problem solvers.

Each of these led us through an amazing year of progress and potential for our futures.

So before we truly STEAM our way into summer, I want to remind you of a responsibility that you have….not a responsibility for me, your teachers, or even your parents, but a responsibility you have for yourself. EVERY single one of you is good at something…and every single one of you has something to offer. Maybe you already know what that is, but if not, it is your responsibility to figure it out.

No one is born being good at things, you can only become good at things through hard work. You MUST practice. It’s the same here at TCS. Many of you might have to do a math problem a few times before you get it right, or read something multiple times before you understand it, or complete a few drafts of a paper before it’s actually good enough to hand in. I believe that it’s this repetition and practice that has helped you to grow.

When you arrive at your new destination, please continue to ask questions….and do not ever be afraid to ask for help when you need it. I do that every day (just ask my staff!), and I have learned that asking for help is not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength. It shows you have the courage to admit when you don’t know something, and to learn something new.

Asking questions and expressing an interest will help you decide what career may be right for you. If you want to be a doctor, a lawyer, a police officer….A nurse, an architect or even join our military. You will need a good education for each one of these. And, you will have to work for it and train for it…and own it.

You will need problem-solving skills that you learn in science and math to cure diseases like cancer. You will need critical thinking skills to fight poverty or make our country more fair and more free. You’ll need creativity and imagination to design buildings and cities of the future.

Whatever you decide to do, you must commit to it. And that means you must REALLY work hard at it~because the truth is, being successful is hard. And you won’t ever succeed at everything the first time you try, BUT …that’s OK.  Because even when you’re struggling, discouraged, or you feel like giving up…REMEMBER that life isn’t about people who quit when things get tough. Life is about people who keep going, who try harder, and never give anything less than their best. Life is about students just like YOU at TCS.

In your time at The College School, you have faced challenges with strength and determination….and because of this, you have prepared yourself. Now, it is time to trust the process as you embark on a new adventure.

So as we conclude our journey today, I believe your families and teachers have prepared you well for a new destination. It’s now your turn to put your best foot forward and do your part.

I expect great things from each one of you, so make us all proud. We know you can do it….and we will continue to be your biggest fans. Always believe success is possible….. and I guarantee that it will be!

CONGRATULATIONS!

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