First Posted: 1/15/2009
This is the last week of school. Let me repeat that. This is the last week of school!
Not only is this the last week of the 2004-2005 school year, today is the last day of school for our students. For most of our students, the next three months are a break. Come Aug. 25, they return to continue their studies as students in the Public Schools of Robeson County. For some students, today is their last day of attendance at a high school.
We are very proud of all of our students who worked diligently at their job. Their job is to learn. Like all jobs, learning requires dedication, hard work and a sense of purpose. Public education is more like a long-distance run than a sprint. Each year is one leg of the run. Each leg requires focus and commitment. The sustained effort over the long-distance run produces the desired results at the finish line. In our case, the finish line is high school graduation.
At the end of this week, about 1,000 students will graduate. Graduation ceremonies honor students who have successfully completed the long-distance run of public education. For most it started when they were 5 years old, and ends when they are 18. In those 13 years, each of our graduates has gone from being a child to being an adolescent. Graduation ceremonies on Friday officially launch them into the next phase of their life: adulthood.
No matter what the path is after high school, that path is one followed by adults. College, the military, the work force or university, these are places adults are found. Those that we honor at graduation ceremonies have shown who they are. They have confirmed their ability to remain focused for long periods of time. They have confirmed their willingness to commit to securing a desirable future for themselves. They have confirmed they are willing to work hard to do what is required of them.
High school provides students with a necessary set of core skills and competencies that allow them to transition to the next phase of their life. The core skills are generic in nature and relate to knowledge, skills and attitudes.
Those students who walk off the stage on Friday with a diploma in their left hand are able to leave that stage with options open to them. They have the necessary knowledge, skills and attitudes that will let them do two important things. First, they will be able to make wise choices about what the next phase of their life should be about. Secondly, they will have the core competencies to be successful at that endeavor.
If the students have lived up to their responsibilities, and we have lived up to our duty, each of our graduates will be making a wise choice as they take their first step into the adult world. All of the staff, administration and board members of the Public Schools of Robeson County wish every graduate a bright and happy future. We are very proud of each of them. We know their families are also proud of them. As a graduate you should be equally proud of what you have accomplished. You should be excited about what your past accomplishments will allow you to do in the future.
– Colin Armstrong is the superintendent of the Public Schools of Robeson County.