Good Morning Newport High School Students. It’s my honor to be here today for your Decision Day Assembly. I am Dr. Karen Gray your school district Superintendent.
You are all assembled here today on the precipice of your future. It’s not a distant reality anymore. You’re in high school and the future is calling. It begins here. It begins today. The call to self-awareness and decision-making is happening today. How will you answer?
You began high school as children, but you will leave here as adults ready for the future and excited about what will happen next. Many of you are seniors who have completed a quality education that will serve as the platform you use to launch yourselves into your futures.
There are many pathways to that bright future. You don’t have to pick just one. No one can dictate your future but you. No one can tell you which pathway to take to that future but you. Some of you will go on to college, others of you will go straight into the workforce, some of you will decide to go to a trade school and some of you will pick a two year community college, but each of you will travel your own path. Our job is to make that you are aware of those many and varied paths and to help you find your way to a happy future life.
No matter where you go or what you do, there are challenges ahead of you; challenges you must face and conquer. What I’m asking from each of you, no matter what grade you are in now, is to meet those challenges straight on with your head held high and your heart wide open. It’s not enough to simply try to get by in life. That doesn’t move the world forward. You must try to excel in everything you do; strive for excellence in every task, large or small.
Although it may not be easy to see, every accomplishment you achieve is added to the world’s accomplishments. Your individual successes benefit society as a whole because when you succeed, you lighten the burden on your fellow man. When you succeed, you are in a position to give rather than take. Imagine if every individual lived up to his or her own potential. Think about how amazing our world would be, and how much better off humanity would be. Well, we may not have the power to inspire the entire world to strive for success, but we do have the power to try to achieve it for ourselves.
My challenge to each of you, and to myself, is to do all that you can do to reach your full potential. If each of the students in this wonderful high school is able to do that, just imagine the effect that would have. The future is truly in your hands, so let’s make the most of it. Stop and think. Make solid, well-researched decisions about the pathways for you to choose in your life as you make your way to your future. Work hard, never quit and always be kind to one another. Demonstrate peace and love at all times. Then you will change the world.
Dr. Karen F. Gray