Superintendent of Schools – It is graduation season across RVS. An exciting time for grads and their families. I have had the honour of attending three graduation ceremonies and have shared a brief message to the grads. All the other grads have had either an Associate Superintendent or an Area Director bring greetings. I thought I’d share my message to the grads with everyone via this week’s blog posting.

Welcome distinguished guests, parents, staff, friends and grads.

Let me start with my congratulations to the class of 2017.  Maybe not for you but for your parents and guardians it is probably hard to believe you started school 13 years ago.  You are the last grad class where the majority of you were actually born in the last millennium. Times flies!  How about a quick trip down memory lane?

In Kindergarten, you might have gotten the Dancing Dora or RoboSapien for Christmas.
Just after grade 3 you wanted to go see The Dark Knight at the theatre but got stuck having to see Kung Fu Panda or WallE because The Dark Knight was too scary – clearly life was not fair!
Most of you were into music by grade 7. In late June 2012, the Billboard top song was Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen.  Sorry to the parents in the crowd but you weren’t cool then nor now if you could sing every word while chauffeuring the kids around.
When you came to high school you rolled in probably with a hand-me-down iPhone 4S or iPhone 5 or if you were lucky you had a funky coloured iPhone 5c. You were probably an early adopter of Pinterest and Twitter while all of us old timers were still using Facebook
And here we are. June 2017 and you have just reached one destination and hopefully are ready to embark on another journey. 

Not to down play today or your graduation but this is just the start. The next bit of your life will be focused on where do you want to go?  What do you want to try and experience?  Well, that is up to you now.  You get to pull out your phone and enter the next destination in Google Maps. 

What is important is:

Make sure your charged up and have supplies and tools onboard so you are able to take on a wide variety of challenges along your route;
It is time to gain some independence but don’t worry your AMA membership (a.k.a. your family) will be there if you get stuck;
Understand that it is okay for your phone to tell you it is “recalculating” when you make a quick left turn and change courses;
Have the courage to close the app and use your common sense to get to a destination;
And even though you entered location X as your destination; if something really interesting is seen along the way it is okay to stop and check it out.

Now don’t get freaked out if you lose connectivity or if you don’t have the whole trip mapped out. It is important to understand that there are many ways to get from A to B.  Just make sure you are moving forward toward your ultimate destination. Be smart because when the app tells you to keep driving straight and you see the cliff ahead … don’t think the device is smarter than you are.  Keep your hands on the wheel, don’t forget that your Civic cannot actually fly.

Aspire to be the person: who has lots of travel stamps in your passport; who helps others take on adventures; who designs the latest mapping app; who helps those who get stuck; who builds the self-driving car; or who blogs about the journeys taken.

I do want to thank and recognize all of the staff here today that helped you get to this point.  Your contributions getting the class of 2017 out onto the road is much appreciated.

Lastly, it’s all about you today but I encourage you to take the time this week to thank those who helped get you to this point on your journey.  Say thanks to your parents, siblings, grandparents, extended family, friends, teachers, bus drivers, secretaries and everyone who has helped along the way.

Now get out there and get going!


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