Editorial: Graduation honors more than students

June 5, 2008

By Staff

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On June 12, Liberty High School graduates will walk down the aisle at Safeco Field for their commencement.The following day, Hazen High School seniors will receive diplomas at their graduation ceremony at the Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue.

Congratulations to the graduates, parents and educators who are enjoying one of life’s great passages. This is a special time of the year when memories are made and the pride in accomplishment is an almost palpable presence. There’s good reason to appreciate the accomplishments of the hundreds of students here who are receiving diplomas.

Completing high school and earning a diploma is one of the major milestones of anyone’s life. The graduates have achieved distinction and pride because of their hard work and commitment to excellence.

While we celebrate the students’ accomplishments, let’s also remember the teachers, counselors, coaches and principals who made this possible.

Teachers teach and inspire; instructional aides provide valuable support; and counselors help students handle their stress, as well as guide and coordinate each student’s program of study. Coaches teach lifelong lessons in teamwork and sportsmanship; principals create a culture that encourages teachers to teach from the heart and not the book.

Teachers who inspire know that teaching is like cultivating a garden, and those who would have nothing to do with thorns must never attempt to gather flowers. 

One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feelings, noted psychologist Carl Jung said.

“The curriculum is so much necessary raw material, but warmth is the vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child,” he said.

The list would be incomplete without mentioning the teachers, counselors, coaches and administrators at the elementary and middle school levels who shaped the lives of today’s high school graduates.

And let’s not forget the PTSA members who give generously of their time. They’re the first people to sign up to flip pancakes at fundraising breakfasts on cold Saturday mornings in February or obtaining merchandise for school auctions.

And perhaps, most importantly, a hearty thanks to the parents who encouraged the academic achievement of their children, to say nothing of after-hours chauffeuring to soccer practice, music recitals and school dances.

To the graduates: Trust your instincts, and live life with optimism and integrity, because with perseverance and passion, you can make a difference.

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