Dear Class of 2022,
Every day, we write another page in the story of our lives.
This week marks the start of a new chapter for you, as you graduate from high school and begin your next adventure.
Your stories so far have inspired us. We have watched you learn to read and write, to add and subtract, to think critically and creatively. You have achieved in the classroom, won on the field, shined on the stage.
Know that our entire community joins me in congratulating you on your success and wishing you all the best in your next chapter.
Just as a novelist must contemplate his characters’ motivations in order to write a compelling tale, knowing your own “why” is crucial to your success.
This “why” is more than where you are going next, whether to college, the military, a workplace or a combination of these paths. And this “why” is more than where you plan to end up, as it isn’t about job titles or paychecks.
This “why” is your purpose in life, and knowing it and listening to it is the most important advice I’ve ever received and can pass on to you.
My “why” is to make a positive difference in the lives of children through service, both through my career as an educator and through volunteerism. Knowing this “why” helps me navigate decision making and keeps me on the right course.
If you don’t know your “why” yet, take time to reflect on what’s most important to you in your life and what you truly hope to accomplish. If you already know your “why,” keep your heart focused on it.
Every year, I get to know six of your classmates through their service as the Student Advisor and Student Delegates to the School Board. They have represented you well, and their optimism and dedication to making our community and world a better place inspires me. They each gave a speech at our last School Board meeting, which I encourage you to watch online here.
You and your classmates have endured many challenges during your high school career, from the pandemic, to its economic impact, to the political rhetoric about what you should learn and should not learn, to the threat of school shootings.
In Texas today, families that would be celebrating a successful end of the school year instead are mourning. Do not be discouraged, but instead fill your hearts with empathy and the knowledge you have the power to effect change.
For in your life’s story, you can be a hero to others, and we need as many heroes as we can get.
Congratulations upon your graduation. Turn the page, keep doing great things and keep writing your story. We can’t wait to read about all that you accomplish.
Dr. Brian V. Hightower
Superintendent of Schools