Congratulations to our upcoming high school graduates

Published 7:15pm Thursday, May 9, 2013

Dear area high school graduates: congratulations, but there is a lot of work left to do.

Sorry to tell you the tests don’t end, they just change. Sorry to tell you the grades don’t stop coming, they just come in a different way. Sorry to tell you the homework assignments don’t end, they just become projects for work or college.

As high school graduations prepare to kick off, it is important those of you receiving your diplomas understand that we as a city, a county a region are counting on you.

It might be a cliché — and one you’ll hear plenty of from upcoming valedictorian and guest speaker addresses — but you are the future of Selma, the future of Dallas County and beyond.

For years, we have pressured you to complete your assignments, study for your tests and get to class on time. This isn’t because we like being a pest; it’s more selfish than that. We’re counting on you.

For years, we’ve told you to tuck in your shirt, stand up straight and use your manners. This isn’t because we like telling you what to do; it’s more selfish than that. We’re counting on you.

For years, we’ve challenged you to take tougher classes, participate in extra-curricular activities and be careful with those you call your friends. This isn’t because we are trying to control your life; it’s more selfish than that. We’re counting on you.

Whether you’ve attended a public school or a private school, the investment made in your future has been well into the thousands of dollars — the tens of thousands of dollars. In short, you are an investment we are counting on to show a return.

Whether you plan to attend college, a technical college or no college, is irrelevant to the expectations we have of you.

What we expect is that you return the favor, that you make an investment back into Selma, into Dallas County, into the community that has done so much for you and your future.

What we expect is for you to be the type of men and women we know you can be and be a good example to those who follow you.

You have been given a gift of education — sadly a gift many your age have thrown away by dropping out of school. Don’t squander it. Instead, turn it into something great, turn it in to something you — and those who have given you this gift — will be tremendously proud of one day.

Graduation is simply the period of one sentence; it is not the end of the story. What you do with this story is completely up to you, but you have the tools, the skills and the ability to make it whatever you want and to make it a classic.

While we offer our congratulations on your upcoming graduation, just know we still have plenty of expectations of you. Know too that we are counting on you.


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