Dear graduating seniors,
You have spent the vast majority of your life to date working to earn your diploma, and most of you have long dreamed of celebrating that achievement with your classmates and family members. Now you face the heartbreaking fact that the ceremony and celebration you have long envisioned will not take place, at least not in the traditional way. Every single member of the Blaine County School District team—teachers, principals, bus drivers, custodians, administrators and school board trustees—shares your pain and frustration as you face a graduation season unlike any our district has ever experienced.
We don’t pretend that there is any way we can replace or make up for what you have lost. We cannot tell you in good faith that this is no big deal, that you will get over it soon enough. But we can tell you that while the unforeseen events of these past eight weeks have taken away much of the joy and pride of a traditional graduation celebration, those events cannot and must not take away the significance of your achievement. It took 13 years of hard work and dedication to get to where you are, and nothing, no matter how devastating, can detract from what you have accomplished in those years.
The future is always uncertain. The seniors of the early 1940s graduated into an entire world at war, and the graduates of the mid- to late-1960s graduated into a world of chaos, violence and widespread civil unrest. Those seniors met the challenges with which they were confronted, and so will you. Many of you will now continue your education at other institutions. Others will seek and find employment in an ever-changing economy. You will travel, have children, raise families and make contributions, both large and small, to a nation and a world that needs your youth, resiliency and courage more than ever. You are the hope and the promise of the future, and your success in reaching your educational goals gives all of us reason to find optimism, even as we struggle with a deadly, relentless, microscopic enemy.
If it were in our power to cast away this pandemic and give you the graduation celebration you have worked for and so richly deserve, we would do so in a heartbeat. We cannot do that, but all of us who have played a part in your education can tell you this: We are proud of you, we place our trust in you and we have no doubt that you will go out there and make this world a better, safer place—a place where disease, war and famine will never again deprive a single senior of the opportunity to joyously celebrate his or her high school graduation.
Thank you for the time you have spent with us, and good luck to you—wherever you choose to go and whatever you choose to do.
With all our admiration and best wishes, R. Keith Roark, chairman of the board of trustees.
GwenCarol Holmes, superintendent, Blaine County School District.