It’s the last week of school for our seniors. They will be graduating this coming weekend: CMR on Friday in the CMR Fieldhouse, 7:00 pm; GFHS on Saturday in the GFHS Fieldhouse, 7:00 pm; and PGEC on Wednesday, June 8 in the PGEC Cafeteria, 6:30 pm. It is such an exciting time for the graduates and their families. It is a time of celebration for them and it should be for GFPS as well.

For a school district, graduation is like the final exam. It culminates an entire body of work: 13 years of educational opportunity for our students. 13 years of curriculum, instruction, assessment, technology, and educational opportunities with one goal in mind: a diploma that matters. A diploma that certifies the students as being college, career and citizenship ready.

Graduation also entails 13 years of countless individuals teaching, supporting, assisting and educating these students. As I present the graduates at commencement, I will ask them to stand and applaud the people that made this day happen for them. I hope they think of every teacher, administrator, secretary, aide, food server, engineer, paraeducator, technology specialist, warehouse driver, crossing guard and tax payer that helped them a little or a lot over the years. I hope they understand that so many of you have been the wind beneath their wings. I hope they also know that as we push them out of the nest, we are so excited for their journey into the great big real world.

Yes, this is a time of celebration for them and for us. Thank you for the part each of you played as we celebrate the Class of 2016. And we will continue to do our good work because, ready or not, the Class of 2029 just registered for kindergarten! Lots more celebrating to come!

Take care. Stay safe. Be well.