June 02, 2013

Graduation 2013

I wish I had the opportunity to give more speeches. I actually enjoy getting up in front of a crowd and talking for a few minutes. I think I need to work on eye contact and reading a little less — but I enjoy the opportunity to speak to people. 

This is not actually Buckley but clipart. 

Today was graduation for the Class of 2013 at Buckley Community Schools. The weather, 46°—or about 50° less than last year's graduation. We had some excellent speeches today, a good senior video, and great messages. We talked a lot about change. 

Just for fun, I'm going to share my speech (as written, not exactly as given):

Commencement Speech 2013

“Oh, great!” I think I heard someone say.  “Mr. Heitmeyer’s going to talk again. “

It’s at this point each year when the candidates for graduation are ready to graduate.

Truth be told, they’ve probably been ready to graduate since we did this last year, but they had to put in one more year. I hope they learned. I hope they were challenged. I hope they were changed.

The Class of 2013 made it to today, as Seniors, because the world actually didn’t end last December. I bet they were all pleased to get up on December 22 and know they would end up graduating from Buckley High School in early June. Congrats, all of you.

As you get out into the world, you are going to find that you have to learn new things, relearn them, and relearn them again. This is a fact. And it’s called living your life. Things change quickly. You’ll change quickly. Statistics suggest that you may have up to 14 careers in your lifetime.

You’re going to face challenge. Challenges from people. First it will be friends. Then boyfriends or girlfriends. Then spouses. Sometimes you have to compromise. Sometimes you have to work things out for the good of all. These kind of challenges are where we grow. It may start out with a little battle next fall — a roommate will frustrate you, cause you to have concern. You’ll learn to work it out. These are the challenges that help us change.

You were changed this year. Maybe in small ways. Maybe in big ways. Maybe something monumental happened and you were transformed greatly. You know what, it won’t be the first time and it won’t be the last time. Change is constant and you have to learn to handle it. You might adjust well already — at age 18. Some of you might adapt better by 25. Or maybe you’ll be 40 and finally able to handle the crazy world.

Before we end today’s program and declare you all graduates of Buckley Community School, I have one more thought. You’ve probably heard this from teachers, parents, and others in your life — AND it’s true. You can control one person in this world. Remember that. That doesn’t mean you can’t share advice, ideas, and thoughts with your friends, families, and co-workers, but you truly are in charge of only one person’s destiny. Go out into this world and make your mark. Make smart decisions. Do the right thing for the right reason all the time. Be good to your friends. Be great to your family. Be a wonderful person. Learn. Be challenged. Allow yourself to change.

And while it might be true that you are SUPPOSED TO GRADUATE FROM HIGH SCHOOL, it takes a lot of hard work through the years to finally graduate. School is something that you do day in day out (with the exception of nine snow days, right graduates?) for 13 years. You’ll soon find that learning lasts a lifetime.

It’s the hope of the parents, as well — parents, please stand up.

It’s the hope of the teachers here — teachers, please take a moment to stand up.

It’s all of our hope — graduates PLEASE STAND UP.

It’s the hope that we have all worked together and done a great job preparing these young men and women for their futures, wherever that takes them.

At this time it is also appropriate to turn your tassel.

Class of 2013, you have met all of the requirements set forth by the United States Department of Education, the State of Michigan Department of Education, and the Buckley Community Schools Board of Education. Therefore, by the power vested in me as Superintendent of Buckley Community Schools, I pronounce you Buckley High School graduates. Ladies and Gentlemen, THE CLASS OF 2013. Congratulations.

No comments: