Congratulatory Speech – Principal Christine O’Connor
Class of 2018. As you entered elementary school, you stepped out of the comfort of your home and your world began to expand. You probably experienced excitement mixed with trepidation. You wondered who your teacher would be and who would be in your class. But, once you got there, you realized that you were safe and everything was fine. There was a solid pre-planned structure to your day. You would rotate into classes that you called specials yet, always returned to the warmth and comfort of the classroom of your primary teacher.
As you entered middle school, your world expanded a little bit more. Now you were changing classes, having different teachers for each subject, however, there were still many safety nets in place. You made the choice of how much effort to put in but, your course selections and the path to your success were clearly laid out for you.
Your four years of high school expanded your world even further. Your freedom and opportunity for choice increased in school and probably at home as well. Again, there were many safety nets in place. Ignition program helped you as you entered ninth grade. Your guidance counselors were there to oversee your graduation requirements and assist you with post-secondary plans. Your teachers were there to support you and constantly remind you of deadlines in class, through Google Classroom of course. And I’m sure parents were as well.
Well, Eagles, it’s time for you to graduate and expand your wings even further. You now have the power to make your own choices. The safety nets you once had are no longer there. It is now up to you to make good choices and to see them through. I’m sure there will be roadblocks as you go through the journey of life but, that is to be expected. It is what you do with those challenges or failures that will make you the person you become. Some bad decisions can be worked through but, remember, others cannot.
Your on-stage classmates shared some valuable insights today. Robert emphasized the importance of planning for the future but, also taking the time to enjoy the present. 7-year-old and 18-year-old Andrew addressed the question, what is love? Now he may not have become famous when he first made the video but, if we all work together, there’s a chance that he will be now. Erin shared the analogy of the Wizard of Oz’s yellow brick road and how the story of the Wizard of Oz represents the journey of life. Lexi reminded you to anticipate the road bumps along the way but, with perseverance, a positive outcome is in sight.
Jacob answered Darryl’s question from the hit show, The Office, “why in the world is it so hard to leave?” And leaving a place as wonderful as our home here at Hauppauge High School is bittersweet. But, as we all now, every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end. And Class of 2018, it is time for your new beginning. I will miss you Class of 2018 and I wish you the best as you begin the next phase of your lives. Make good choices and today’s dreams can become tomorrow’s reality. Congratulations.