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Blog #6: A Message to Our WHS Evening of Excellence Honorees

I wanted to share the message I wrote for our seniors at the Evening of Excellence on March 25.  While it was written to honor them, there are several applicable reflections I wanted to share with everyone as we look at the year behind us and the future ahead.

 

WHS Seniors, Families, Teachers, Friends:  As I reflect upon March of 2020 up until this moment in time, it has certainly been a year of adversity, loss, and many bittersweet moments.  Seniors as you look around the room tonight, many of the faces you see you have probably not seen since last March.  But here you are joined today with at least one thing in common:  you have achieved excellence in a most unprecedented year and we could not be more proud.  Achieving excellence is not about overcoming one feat or about winning in one moment in time; it is about your willingness to continually grow, to work hard, to be willing to learn through failure, and it is about making sacrifices along the way.  It means embracing curiosity, loving the mystery of learning, and not being afraid to ask for help.  Your achievement we are honoring tonight began much before this night, long before this unique year--you have truly exhibited a lifetime of good decision making, grit, and the willingness to overcome challenges as they came your way.  Thank you for being willing to learn in new ways, in new environments, and for not giving up when it may have been tempting to do so.  

 

Seniors, as you prepare to come up and receive your honor tonight, you have 40 more school days as a WHS senior.  And while it could be tempting to think about what you have missed out on, I would encourage you to remember the moments that formed you into the person you are today--the victories, the struggles, the failures, and the successes.  For I believe with all my heart that every memory can be a blessing if we are not afraid to embrace it.  Spend the next 40 school days committed to the Westfield Way:  be present, be positive, be kind and be grateful.  Thank those in this room who have supported and inspired you.  Let’s enjoy the moments remaining together but let us also look to the future.  For just as excellence is not born in a day, it also has no expiration date.  Seniors, it’s time to dream big, because I can’t wait to watch you soar and excel wherever life takes you.  You have proven you are ready not only to face whatever life may throw your way--but that you are ready to learn, lead and inspire.