As a school board member, I really like our graduations. We have students who are the first in their family to graduate - as well as some who are the first to be attending college in the fall - and our community shows respect and dignity during the ceremony - something that is not seen in many places. All this came together last Saturday with perfect weather as we had three high school graduations in one day.
Seeing the interaction between teachers and graduates shows you that a relationship had developed during the high school years - much like the one that was in a recent Charlotte Observer article that schools are not about administrators or policies but about teaching. For most of the students, graduation is a rite of passage more than an educational milestone. It is signaling they have reached a point to start spreading their own wings and flying away - a happy/sad occurrence.
For a few, the honor graduates, this marks an achievement they have worked hard for. Their reward is to speak in front of about 4,000 people. A point one of our speakers made a joke of. A question for our administrators.
We say we value educational achievement, if so, why are the honor graduates not recognized on our web pages? Not just the high schools and district web site, but the middle and elementary schools they attended. Why are their achievements not posted at the schools? Wouldn't it be motivating to parade your kindergarten students past the honor wall at their school and say, "these people walked the halls just like you, and they have achieved something special, just like you can do." And the honor wall doesn't have to be just honor graduates, but those students who have achieved significant milestones - you decide. Every child needs heroes and role models. What are you doing to provide them?