David Guy, Science Teacher
My advice to seniors as they leave our school and become our fellow adults is to try to be the best person you can be. Adopt and try to develop the four cardinal virtues.
PRUDENCE or WISDOM – the ability to judge between actions and choose the action that is proper for the situation in which you find yourself.
JUSTICE or FAIRNESS – Justice demands that we treat people the same in ways in which they are the same and to treat people differently in ways in which they are different.
TEMPERANCE or RESTRAINT – the practice of self-control, abstention from destructive behavior, discretion, resistance to temptation, and moderation
COURAGE – fortitude, strength, endurance, and the ability to confront, fear, uncertainty, and intimidation
You will need these characteristics to be a good person. You will face many situations where these traits will be challenged. Being a good person is not easy. Life is a struggle. You will struggle against others and, most importantly, against yourself. It is easy to take the easy way out of a problem. It is also wrong; you must take the right way. To quote Albus Dumbledore,
I encourage you to seek others who possess or at least value these virtues. These people will be good friends.
Greek philosophers identified happiness or joy as the ultimate desire of all people. People want happiness for its own sake, not as a means to get something else. Ancient philosophers also identified the way to achieve happiness. The argued: Happy is the person who during the course of an entire life has everything he/she desires provided he/she desires nothing amiss. You may get what you want but you must only want things that are really good for you.
Do not believe the argument: “The end justifies the means.” This argument is false. The “end” never is the actual end. The current “end” will affect the future forever. The “means”, how you achieve your goals, are the “end.” How you live, not what you achieve, will be the measure of the quality of your life.
Laura Stiles, Science Teacher
Congratulations Class of 2017. Four years ago graduation day seemed so far away. Now that it is right around the corner you are probably feeling a number of things – excitement, anxiety, a bit of stress and even exhaustion; take a deep breath and enjoy what is to come.
I have two pieces of advice for you as you leave Wakefield. First, whether you are going to school or work, take a chance and try something new – take a class just for fun, learn a new skill, meet a new person. As you are doing so, hopefully, you will discover your passion and that will guide you through the rest of life. You want to find what speaks to you and gets you excited about the day. Second, be kind. Obviously, you should be kind to others as it will make every interaction a more positive one. Just as important though be kind to yourself. You are going to be put in challenging situations, may struggle with a class, or even make a bad decision. Instead of being negative about it and yourself, use it as a chance to learn and move on. Keep in mind the words of Winnie the Pooh’s best friend, Christopher Robin – “You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you look.”
I have been honored to know many of you. You have each added memories to my time at WHS and for that I thank you. Now, go out there and continue to make me proud.
Elizabeth Hanna, Assistant Principal
As you prepare to enter the next, and perhaps most exciting, years of your life, you will likely receive a plethora of unsolicited advice. You may hear about the importance of attending classes, about the responsibility that comes with increased freedom, and about the potentially lifelong relationships you could establish. While these pieces of advice are accurate, they fail to embrace two substantial components of what college is about: (1) self-discovery and (2) opportunities.
While working on your studies, take time to work on yourself. Become attuned to who you are and learn what matters to you. Find your place in your social circle and in society. Consider the type of people with whom you find comfort and strength. A process of self-reflection will guide you on a path of self-actualization which will be an enormous benefit to you in your career and in relationships.
Colleges offer a large assortment of organizations, clubs, and activities. Decide what is most important to you and become involved. Try something new and abandon your comfort zone. Consider an internship or even a semester abroad. The opportunities are almost limitless so embrace the possibilities and allow yourself to grow emotionally and intellectually.
College allows you to harness your potential. The time will pass quickly, so grab onto the experience with both hands, your head, and your heart. Enjoy each today as you strive to build a better tomorrow for yourself, for your family, and for our society.
Carrie Dickerhoff, Science Teacher
You are all getting ready to take a “New path in life”, by either going to college or going directly into the workplace. I have some advice for you wonderful students. For those seniors heading to college, you will face many struggles and please understand that you will make it through. As a freshman, you will have early morning classes, you will have almost all your assignments due online, if you miss more than 11 days then you will fail your classes, and none of your teachers will give extra time or extra credit. Don’t “freak-out”, because you will do just fine. As I have always told you as my students, “If you believe you can succeed, then you will be successful.”
Think through all choices you make, remember to think about the consequences instead of just thinking it won’t happen to you. Do not “vape” in your dorm room because as you know, it will cause the fire alarm to go off. For the seniors heading directly into the workplace, try to find a job that makes you happy and that you can move up within the company. You will get fired if you show up late to work or you don’t turn in something on time and the company will not give you a second chance if your mother contacts your boss. Don’t give up ever. I know “adulting” really stinks but you have the strength and wisdom to make it in life. You will always be my babies and I will always care about you. Good Luck.
Robert Clark, Counselor
Seniors, as you prepare to walk across the stage at graduation the realization that one chapter of your life is ending and a new and exciting adventure awaits becomes a reality. Each of you has been going to school five days a week for the past thirteen years if you include kindergarten. While the thought of not having that structure can be quite daunting it is also motivating in the sense that now you can truly experience life regardless of where the immediate future takes you. Some of you will be heading off to college to further your education, others may be choosing to serve our great nation in the military, while others have chosen (at least for now) to enter the workforce and begin to make a living all their own.
My advice to you is to keep your eyes wide open and soak it all in. Your schooling years are honestly such a small fragment of your entire life and there is so much left for you to experience. The best years lie ahead and that is EXCITING. They say that every journey starts with one single step…take that step. Jump step, short step, or even tip toe, but just TAKE a STEP.
If you find that life takes you sideways or even backwards…it’s your will that will ultimately get you moving forward again. There will indeed be bumps in the road and you will absolutely fail at times…but I urge you to #FailForward
There’s an old 1979 disco song that says “There Ain’t No Stopping Us Now…We’re On The Move.” #KeepMoving.
Best wishes to you all.