The word conjures many ideas about school and the future. It means that kids have grown up and are preparing to strike out on their own. It evokes strong feelings of hope and possibilities. But most of all, it signifies the end of end of one chapter and the beginning of another.
“We started this trip together — your first day was my first day. Tonight we have one final time to celebrate your accomplishments and say goodbye.”
Mr. Remenap highlighted attitude, honor, and scholarship as being his guiding principles for students, reminding them that while their GPA matters, it’s their attitude that will open or close far more doors than grades will. Loyalty, he said, will matter far more than an ACT score. He continued:
“…Your ability to love and appreciate people and beauty around you will determine your joy far more than any amount of scholarship. … Your education matters, but let’s place it in its right order.’
With Memorial Day on the horizon, Superintendent Dr. Dan Jonker brought the sentiments of love and honor full circle when he asked the crowd to join him in paying tribute to our veterans and those currently serve in the military.
“Our nation has been at war for most of your school years,” he started. “This Memorial Day, we salute those who have served, are serving, or will be serving our country in the Armed Forces.”
These graduating seniors, Dr. Jonker pointed out, have seen much already in their short lives. They were newborns when Yahoo launched. Wikipedia was born when they were in kindergarten. iPhones changed the world during their middle school years, and the internet surpassed newspaper readership their freshman year.
And while it’s true that these students have seen technology revolutionize our nation, we come back to the simple truth that nothing is quite as revolutionary as love and kindness.
Salutatorian Katherine Sauter summed it up with a quote from Minor Myers Jr:
“Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.”
Allendale High School graduates of 2013, may you do just that! Embrace the past that has prepared you for this moment in history, but open your arms wide to the future and purpose to do good.
Ambition like that will change the world, and we’ll be here cheering you on as you go!