Picture of Jason E. Glass

Jason E. Glass

May is always one of the busiest times of the year in education, as we wind up another school year and celebrate another class of seniors. This month, I wanted to write a column aimed at this year’s graduating class.

Greetings, Class of 2023! Let me first say congratulations. I know that some of your high school experience was spent in the shadow of the COVID pandemic. And you have also worked very hard to recover from that experience and graduate in spite of it. While all of this helped you develop a sense of independence beyond your years, I know it was not easy, yet you persisted.

As you enter the next chapter of your life, remember the invaluable lessons you have learned throughout your school career. Cherish the memories, the friendships and the experiences that have shaped you into the remarkable individuals you are today.

High school has provided a solid foundation, equipping you with knowledge, critical thinking skills and a thirst for learning. Embrace this foundation and let it be a springboard for all your future endeavors, whether you pursue higher education, enter the workforce or embark on a different path altogether.

Each one of you has unique talents, dreams and aspirations. Use your passion to make a difference in the world, to contribute to the betterment of society and to inspire others around you. Remember, you have the power to shape your own destiny and to create a brighter future for yourselves and for others.

Perhaps, if we are lucky, some of you will decide to become an educator. I can never talk about graduation without putting in a good word about the teaching profession. For me, it has meant a lifetime full of watching my students discover their gifts and their calling. Regardless of where their future took them, it makes me feel good to know that I was a small part of helping my students be prepared to find their definition of success. How many other professions do you know of where you are that privileged?

As you celebrate this achievement, take a moment to express gratitude to your teachers, mentors and family who have supported you throughout your educational journey. Their guidance and encouragement have been instrumental in your success. And please remember to show some grace to your family members as they navigate this new stage of your life. Remember, it seems like just yesterday that they were taking you through the doors for your first day of kindergarten.

Class of 2023, you are our future leaders, innovators and change-makers. I have full confidence that you will make us proud with your achievements and contributions to the world.

Savor this moment, embrace the challenges that lie ahead and never stop reaching for your dreams.