HAMMOND Marcia R. Thompson had an important question for high school graduates as they sat on the stage anxiously awaiting diplomas Sunday afternoon.
Are you ready? Are you ready to step out into a world of unknowns? the economics and government teacher asked the 21 members of Hammond Central Schools graduating class.
She told students that although they are about to leave the school they have attended for 13 years, their education has only just begun.
Today you have earned a diploma. That diploma is only a foundation, she said. You are life-long learners.
She outlined some truths of adulthood: There will be things in life they will not want to do; there are yet-untapped abilities and strengths they wont realize until they are older.
Throughout challenges and new discoveries, she told the graduates, dont ever forget your roots.
Class of 2013, believe in yourselves and leave the building that has been your home for 13 years with a smile on your face, gratitude in your heart and success in your hands, Ms. Thompson said.
Considering the future could be an overwhelming proposition for the close-knit class as they separate to make their way in the world on their own, valedictorian Rachael Hodgdon said.
We realize the enormity of the future that lies before us, she said.
She told her classmates to remember the good times and bad, offer gratitude to teachers and parents for their support along the way, and to remember where they came from no matter where lifes journey takes them.
Most importantly, she said, graduates should remember that they alone have the ability to shape their lives.
If opportunity doesnt knock, build your own door, Miss Hodgdon said.