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Celebrating the Graduates of 2013

Yesterday afternoon was quite busy here in Podunk, USA.

After school, I hightailed it to my nail salon, where my nail tech performed her magic and made my nails spectacular…

My school’s colors are black, red, and white…hence the color scheme.  Of course, I like to have fun, so I had to have the polka dots.

After a polish change on my toes…red without polka dots…I hurried home to get the rest of me beautified for a big night.

I put on a classy khaki dress (my kids told me it was classy a couple of weeks ago when I wore it to school) and paired it with my red shawl…

I headed back to school to watch this year’s batch of seniors walk the stage.

It was my first year attending graduation at this school.  Although I worked there last year, my nephew, Music Man, had his graduation the same evening.

Super Sis said I got the Best Sister Award for missing my school’s graduation to attend his.

🙂

I was nervous.  This was the first year that I got to sit on the football field in the VIP section…among my coworkers.

But first, we got to line up in one end zone.  As the ceremony began, we walked out ahead of the graduates.

What an honor!!!!!

My friend, Jane, who works at the private school where I spent my first year teaching, sometimes talks about wanting to be a part of something bigger.

I felt a part of that “something bigger” group as I walked with the other teachers.

The ceremony was amazing!  The focus truly was on the students, three of whom gave short but endearing speeches.

There wasn’t much pontificating by the adults.

My principal had his chance to speak, and he kept things short and sweet.  He is a man who is gifted with words, and the entire staff collectively sighed as he gave shout-outs to his son and grandson, who were graduating…truly spectacular young men who lead by example…a tribute to my principal’s personal ethics.  He walks the walk he so ably talks.

As students lined up to receive diplomas, teachers hollered out to kids, passing on words of encouragement and smiles…from their seats!  Sitting up in the bleachers during other graduations, I’d never known that teachers did this!!!  What fun!

I saw my young man, big teddy bear that he is, “T,” as he lined up, and my heart melted.  He will be the first from his family to attend college.  I love this guy and will miss his hugs next year.

And then the real fun…watching as students sauntered or danced, depending on their preferences, across the stage, greeted my principal’s pat on the back and an arm around the shoulder as the photographers took pictures.

And then the moment…when my district’s superintendent officially declared the group as graduated…

To know that I am a part of shaping these young people’s lives is humbling.

Every word spoken, every corrective frown given, every encouraging thumbs up flashed across a room…these small moments culminated in the BIG moment that was celebrated last night.

My prayers are that these young people will remember the hope of yet-to-be-realized dreams that they carried with them as they stepped foot onto the field last night.  When they face the challenges of the “real world” (although most of our kids already know what the real world is like), they will return to their roots…the foundation that started them on their journey, and that they will NEVER give up or let anyone or anything stand in their way of accomplishing all that their hearts desire.

Congratulations Class of 2013!  Thanks for leaving your imprint on my heart!

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