Graduation a touching event
Well, yeah, there are drawbacks to living in Washington, mostly having to do with the distance between us and Bigtown and all its related services. On the other hand, there are itty-bitty perks that more than make up for it.
Washington School had its graduation ceremony on Thursday, June 2. All the kids moved up one grade, and Kayla Wilson is off to Nevada Union High School next year.
There was a slight delay before the ceremony because several dogs wanted to come in with their owners to share the joy, and it took a few minutes to chase them out. Mr. Pete had some wonderful things to say about each of our students, from the preschoolers to Miss Kayla, who was wearing a beautiful corsage presented to her by para-educator, Janet Romero.
One of the kindergartners, Lillian, was most reluctant to be promoted to first grade, though. “I like kindergarten, I don’t wanna be in first grade! First grade is gonna be hard!”
Diplomas and awards were handed out to all amid deafening applause, whistles and cheers: “Hold up your diploma! Way to go! Good for you! Nice job! Congratulations!”
Corina Loving Young, Washington resident and president of the Twin Ridges School Board, rose to speak, and a respectful silence fell upon the crowd.
Corina has spent a good deal of her time in Sacramento this past year at the Legislative Action Conference lobbying for more local control of our children’s education … not just in Washington, but statewide.
“Our children are more than just a number – they are doctors, scientists, authors, artists, they are our future … a future that must be preserved and nurtured and fed on their dreams and supported in their beliefs of a world that they will one day inherit.”
She mentioned that sometimes she’s filled with doubt about what she’s trying to do, and then said, “I had a former graduate of Washington School (Katie Hicks) come to my home and she asked if I would proofread her English final project. I read this young woman’s book of poetry and was amazed and touched by her words; as I neared the end, I read the dedication, and it was dedicated to me. She wrote that I was an inspiration to her; that by watching and listening to me, I had inspired within her to be the best that she can be, because ‘Corina says that accomplishment is the greatest feeling.’ She thanked me for being someone she looks up to, and through my tears, I realized that this is why I do what I do and not to question but believe … the work we do every day does reach their ears and hearts and minds. Every child is worth every effort we can make on their behalf.”
Corina’s passionate speech was not just about each of our children, but each of yours, too, and her heartfelt words brought the house down. At the end, all the kids were congratulated again, praised, hugged and kissed, not only by their families but everyone who was there.
It was just about then that I suddenly felt a bit sad for you, dear friends and readers. You must attend massive graduations, sitting on bleachers surrounded by hundreds of strangers, listening to more strangers make generic speeches, and trying to pick out your kid/grandkid/niece/nephew in the mob sitting on a football field waiting for a diploma. Big sigh for you.
Somehow things got away from me this year, and I forgot to invite you to this year’s graduation. I’m sorry for that. I won’t forget again.
Vivian Herron’s column appears on Saturdays. You can write her in care of The Union, 464 Sutton Way, Grass Valley, 95945.
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