Remember Tiger pride

Last week was an amazing week in our district. Students and staff across our district displayed their inspiring work through several events. Early in the week we had junior high and high school students inducted into the Junior National Honor Society and the National Honor Society.

The fifth grade presented their impressive United States History Play. What a sense of pride those students instilled in the audience. I left the performance feeling assured that our students are learning about patriotism and what it means to be an American.

Later that evening the High School iTigers, Art Club and the junior high and high school bands presented an Art Festival. Students proudly described their murals that have been painted on the walls. They displayed their art work in the foyer of the auditorium which expressed their creativity and skill.

The junior high and high school bands performed their spring concert w ith enthusiasm and joy. It was rousing to hear good music, witness the pride in the student’s eyes and watch how much fun they had per forming their work. Last Thursday evening left me feeling prouder of our students and staff than ever before.

This Friday evening we will obser ve the ultimate culmination of a student’s work in Tigerland w ith the Rockdale High School Commencement Ceremony on Friday evening. This is the final opportunity to have a glimpse of the accomplishments of our seniors and the path they have traveled over the past 13 years.

What pride they have displayed and honor they have bestowed on this community during their Rockdale ISD experiences. I am so proud of them for the work they have accomplished. Whether we completely understand it or not they will be part of a generation that takes care of us. They will be our leaders, our businesses, our doctors, and our educators; they are our future. Graduates, here is what I proudly say to you:

It is time for you to embark on a journey of new adventures, a decision that is now yours to make. You have great and memorable accomplishments at Rockdale High School, but now it is time to move on to a new adventure. It is time for you to commence; the unspoken requirement of a commencement.

You have been involved in many activities or maybe just a few during your school years as a Tiger, but you have participated with honor and you have helped make our school distr ict impor tant. Whether you realized it or not you have been a role model for a student or groups of students younger than you.

Many of the great graduation speeches include stories of the speaker’s life. Most every story includes a story of having a moral compass, as Oprah Winfrey refers to as “the GPS of life.” Follow your moral compass; it will always lead you in the right direction. The stories include how the experience of failure eventually led to success; like the late Steve Jobs who was fired from Apple (the company he co- created), but later returned to make it the number one innovative technology company in the world.

The reality is that you are going to make mistakes and fail at something; learn from it and go on to do greater things. Other stories include the importance of taking a risk and starting a new adventure. Michael Dell concluded in one of his commencement addresses, “With the understanding that you will face tough times and amazing experiences, you must also commit to the adventure. Just have faith in the skills and the knowledge you’ve been blessed with and go. Because regrets are born of paths never taken.”

All of the stories from these famous speaker’s include these two common themes; that never giving up was essential to their success and the memories and relationships that were built in their educational years were some of their most important experiences.

So go forth, keep your RISD experiences and the relationships that you developed close to you, but start new adventures and know that you are our nation’s future, our future leaders in business, health care, politics, and in education.

We love you and w ill miss you and we expect great things from you. To accomplish great things you will have to follow your path w ith a dream and hard work. May God’s blessings be with each and every one of you as you embark on your new adventure.

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2012-05-24 digital edition

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