Graduation 2017- GHS Says Goodbye to Senior Class

Graduation Day is the happiest day of the school year! On Saturday June 3rd, the seniors were  so excited all dressed in their caps and gowns, hugging their friends, sharing stories and anxiously awaiting the call from Principal Lucia to line up so they can proceed to the ceremony that will change their lives. As the Superintendent of Schools, I know I speak  speak for the entire Georgetown staff that we are very proud of these young men and women who  met all of their graduation requirements ,including community service, and have developed into great people who are going to do well in whatever the next stage  in their lives will mean for them.

As I mentioned in my speech to the graduates, they are a unique group, very talented and interested in many things AND also very committed to making their mark on the school. They have always been willing to speak up, challenge the status quo  and set their own traditions. They were dedicated to academics, athletics and the arts and have been voices for acceptance and tolerance for all! When the culture was challenged, they stood strong for positive action and a stronger commitment to acceptance. I am very proud of them for that because the easier thing to do is remain quiet and dismiss it as unintentional and/ or something we should just accept as kids messing around.  They understood that words matter and actions speak volumes.

I am particularly proud of this class because they were instrumental in advocating for a break from a long-standing tradition of the boys wearing blue caps and gowns and the girls wearing all white on graduation day.  This year all of the students wore the same blue and white gown with a white cap which was also their choice. While change is hard, it was members of this class that brought this idea to the school administration and it was  supported  because it was in line with the school’s mission statement and goals to be an inclusive school regardless of your race, religion, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation and it was the right thing to do.  They recommended this change for the right reasons and thus sent a strong message about living the values of inclusiveness and unity. I  heard only positive comments at graduation and I hope that future classes will appreciate the class of 2017 for reminding us that standing up for the rights of everyone is the right thing to do!

For parents, this is often a bittersweet day. It is hard to believe that the years have gone by so quickly and now their children  are high school graduates ready to take the next step. They have been their life for 18 years and now things will never be the same but there is much excitement and happiness to come!  I have found that going through it three times myself it is wonderful having adult children and that this door closing and the opening of another on graduation brings great hope and excitement about the future whatever that might hold. The hardest thing I found was stepping back and letting them fly!

Thanks to the Georgetown Record for the great articles and pictures about graduation in the paper. Special thanks to Sally Applegate and Pete Chianca for their kind words and excellent coverage if this special event!

Good luck , best wishes and happiness always Class of 2017!

Graduation- Applegate 2017

graduation editorial 2017