By Janet Barresi, State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Thursday, June 5, 2014
It’s the time of year when high school seniors have become high school graduates. After going through untold reams of paper and countless quizzes, these young men and women have finally donned cap and gown and set their sights on the next chapter of their journey.
We asked a lot of our Oklahoma students, and they delivered. Congratulations to the Class of 2014.
This year’s graduates will now go to college, enter the workforce, join the military or simply set out to find their paths in life. To you graduates, whatever your chosen path is, you will become contributing members of society — and with that comes a responsibility to help build strong communities and give back to your fellow Oklahomans.
Please take a moment to thank your parents or guardians for all their support. Thank them for attending parent-teacher conferences, for paying attention to your grades and for helping you get back on track when necessary. They spent many hours ensuring your success in school, not for their own sake, but because they want you to have a bright future.
Thank your teachers and other educators, too, who got you to this moment. I know you will always be able to recall those who had the greatest influence, those who inspired you with their passion for learning, who believed in you, who encouraged you to believe in yourselves. Stay in touch with them in coming years, and share your successes with them. Your life story is woven with the threads of their hard work. They will be so blessed to hear of the impact they helped you make on the world.
While this marks the end of one important part of your life, bear in mind that this is really a beginning. Many people have lifted you up, shared their wisdom with you and guided you through lessons both inside and outside the classroom. Now it’s up to you to chart your own course and scale great heights.
And remember, too, that your education does not end with the awarding of your diploma. Whatever your future plans, don’t lose sight of the fact that learning is not something you only do in a classroom. Seize each day as an opportunity for discovery and revelation. Life is an education.
So congratulations, Class of 2014 — and good luck!