Parents, Family Members, Faculty, Staff, Guests and Graduates – Welcome to Olmsted’s 5th Commencement,
There’s a small plaque on the shelf in my office that reads “Produce great people, the rest follows.” That short phrase says a lot and sets a high standard not only for the administrators and teachers here at Olmsted, but also for your families who brought you to us. You didn’t get to this point alone. Look out in front of you and see the faces of those who worked and sacrificed to get you to this day.
Speaking on behalf of the school I hope you realize how hard we all worked to get you academically prepared for college and beyond – to read and engage with challenging text, to think critically, and to look for multiple ways to solve problems. Beyond academics I hope you realize that as part of the day to day life at Olmsted we made real efforts to teach you about going beyond yourself to reach out to help and fully engage with others. Knowledge is important, but an education that is all “head” and no “heart” is not an education and is not what an Olmsted education is all about.
I hope as you go forth from here you will use both your “head” and your “heart” to build inclusive communities – communities that celebrate diversity and build avenues of welcome to all, that accepts everyone based on their character and the work they do to reach their potential and that understands and seeks to find common ground with the ideas and beliefs of others that may be different than your own.
With the knowledge you’ve gained and the empathy you’ve shown others come the wisdom that produces great people. Looking at the Class of 2016 I know the rest will follow. You are the hope we all have to make a better, more humane world.
Now as you getting ready to take your leave of Olmsted I say to you “Never forget where you came from. You are the products of Olmsted.” Janay McMillan wrote as her yearbook quote, “You can take the person out of Olmsted, but you can’t take Olmsted out of the person.” I believe that is true. We are all connected by our time at Olmsted and the values that are a part of our school community. Graduates – Make us proud and hold fast to what you were taught here.
As I come to the end of this address I want to thank you for the “ride” you took us on – especially this past year. A phenomenal basketball season, wins in track, swim, and tennis, the lip dub, a multicultural Taste of Olmsted, Masterminds, Chess, the Drama Club’s One Act plays, the yearbook, morning announcements that we anything but predictable and so many other things. I was – I am proud to be your principal. You know I wish you all the best for a future filled with happiness and success. I know my fellow administrators as well as the entire Olmsted school family wish you the same. Remember your success is our success. Thank you. God bless. Go Owls.