AHS Graduation 2013


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Graduation Program 2013


A Word from Our Superintendent

June 7, 2013

Good evening and congratulations to the class of 2013. It is my privilege as Superintendent to address you today. Some of you I know personally and many I know from your actions and accomplishments. I know you are talented athletes, killer actors, actresses, singers and dancers, gifted writers, future scientists. You are a group that acts. You care about the environment. You demonstrate understanding and concern of social issues both locally and globally. You are intelligent and hard working. You also like to play and have fun. You are spirited and full of boundless energy. You are our future. When I look out at you I am filled with pride and with hope. Yours is the generation that will change the world in untold ways. Each and every one of you should be proud of your accomplishments and of the hard work and perseverance that got you to this moment.

2013 is a year that marks several important events; a very important passage in your life and the 50th anniversary one of the most moving and poignant events of the last century-the delivery of the “I Have a Dream” speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. The words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. have inspired millions across the world since they day they were first spoken. They have served as a road map for freedom and justice and they are an important reminder of the work that is still to be done. His dream can become our reality if we lift our voices for the things that matter most in the world. King reminds us that, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” It is my hope that together; your generation and mine will seek new solutions to today’s problems. That we will not accept the notion that violence is inevitable until we have done all that we can to seek alternative ways to peacefully resolve our conflicts. Part of this path is to welcome divergent views as new opportunities to see the world from new perspectives. Your class is one that has shown a respect for diversity and that view will serve you well in the world.

Graduates, today is your day, you are the stars, but before I talk to you I would like to recognize the staff of Alhambra High School, and your friends, and family who are here to support you today. None of you got to this moment alone. You all have a support team sitting in the stands that encouraged, cajoled, nagged you a little, or a lot and supported you through the years. Today is not just a celebration of your senior year, but of your thirteen years of schooling. You have been and continue to be: loved, valued, and cherished by this audience. I would like to ask the graduates to give a hand to your parents, family members, friends and teachers who helped you along the way, they deserve your appreciation.

To the parents in this audience, I can relate to what you might be feeling, I have had two children walk across a stage much like this one. You have been anticipating this day with joy and excitement while at the same time dreading the finality of the moment. This is the moment when the letting go begins in earnest. One chapter ends but another begins. While for some of you today may be bittersweet, my sincere hope is that you are all able to embrace the sweetness of today and revel in the profound joy, hope and pride that every parent in the audience deserves to feel.

And now to the graduates; well, you’ve made it. Whatever you choose to do with your life, whatever path you choose to take, one thing is for sure, you can’t go to high school again; although my daughter still reports nightmares about just such a possibility. Some of you have taken small steps and others great strides, but no matter the pace, all of you have arrived here. What words can I offer you that will make any difference? Perhaps my purpose should be to impart wisdom or advice, or to quote the witticisms of memorable or successful people on subjects like courage, purpose and character. I don’t know how wise I am, but I am wise enough to know that real wisdom can’t be dispensed from a podium in five minutes. I don’t expect anyone here to carry my words to the end of their days but I hope to provide a moment of reflection.

What can I tell you that life, in its strange and eloquent way, will not? Responsibilities will come, hardships and sad times will come, love and joyful moments will come, and age inevitably will come. You will all grow up, to varying degrees at least, you might even have a moment where you’re offered a lucrative job, or sign a mortgage agreement, or receive a compliment about what a great parent you are – and you will stop and think, “Wow, I guess that means I’m officially a grown up.”

Your future is unfolding in front of our eyes. You have more information at your fingertips than previous generations had in their college libraries, and the spread of ideas can no longer be contained, not even by the great firewall of China. Don’t be a political bystander, democracy requires your participation. Martin Luther King said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that really matter.” Lift your voice when you see injustice. Be decent and fair and insist that others do so as well. Seek to build connections with people who are different and those whose views you may not understand.

Youth is a time for feeling invincible, when you believe you can conquer the world single-handedly or with the help of a few good friends. This may be an idealistic view but then again people have done amazing things fueled by this idealism, or at least they have tried to do them, so try.

Class of 2013 yours is a generation eager, impatient even, to step into the rushing waters of history and change its tide. Dr. King tells us, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” The question is where will you stand? Give back. It is not only what others can do for you but what you can do for others. Community service is a gift we can give of ourselves that enriches the world around us.

I want you to remember that whether or not you choose to continue your education in a traditional way, explore the trades or the military or enter the job market we that we believe in you and wish you all of the best. Andre Gide reminds us that, “Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose the sight of the shore.” Now is the time for you to be courageous and step forward as you begin this next leg of your life’s journey. Congratulations.