Today you had your last final, and unless you are doing a final on the make-up day, this is officially your last day of school. This is always a day filled with joy and excitement for the summer. This is a bittersweet day for me. While I am excited about the future, I am saddened this is my last day with all of you.
The last two years that we shared were unique. I came in as your Principal the summer we all thought COVID was a thing of the past. We all know it was far from that, and we began that year together remotely. It was a roller coaster ride from that moment on. I have to share much gratitude to our teachers, and all of you for navigating a world none could have prepared for. However, while we had our stresses, challenges, and days that we wished were different, we also had so many shining moments, laughs, and accomplishments.
You are all a resilient group who I know will take all that you learned these last two years and make our school and world better for it. You advocated for so much these past two years and implemented much of what you advocated for. Continue to advocate (respectfully) for your needs and know your voice matters.
I leave you with some advice and thoughts.
Welcome the new Principal with open arms; she is kind, knows what she is doing, and is coming in to support your growth. She will be your greatest advocate.
Never forget that your teachers have dedicated their lives to helping you reach your goals and achieve your potential. They deserve your utmost respect, and know it is earned every day they walk through our doors.
Focus on the good around you. There is so much. Try to change what is not so good, but accept that there are things you may not be able to change. You will be happier this way.
Don’t live your life thinking you are owed anything. Earn it.
Always be kind to your fellow students. You don’t always know what they are going through, and your kindness may be the one thing that helps them get through their day. Also, you may need that kindness reciprocated one day.
I heard too many times while I was here that “snitches get stitches.” They don’t. Sometimes the best thing you can do is tell a trusted adult something that a student needs help with. You may be why a student’s life changes for the better because they got the help they needed.
Lastly, remember that you were created you with a unique purpose. You will find your purpose when you discover your passion and how that passion connects with a need in the world. Until then, know that you are cared for, and you are special.
I wish you much luck next year, and I will never forget our time together. Feel free to reach out for recommendations or say hello at (email), and hopefully, I will see many of you with my work with NCSY. Be well!
Dr. Eliezer Jones