Today was graduation day for the MSD Class of 2019!
I have been at MSD for five years, and have attended every one of those graduations. I love going to graduation. There is so much hope, so much promise in the crowd. No matter what their plans after high school, they have all accomplished something. They have all achieved the great equalizer – they all received a high school diploma.
This graduation was special. The students were juniors when tragedy struck MSD on 2/14. They endured not just the end of last school year, but an entire year post-shooting. They lost friends, teachers, innocence, anonymity, and a sense of normalcy. This lit a fire under them, and they spoke out, worked as activists, used their voice to bring about change. They are bringing this kick-ass spirit all over the country as they begin their new adventures in the coming weeks and months.
Before the ceremony began, I was able to see some of the kids and take pictures. Some ran up to me and hugged me. Some came over and thanked me for everything. Some just smiled and waved. These are some of my newly-graduated cuties.
There were three students recognized and given posthumous diplomas and shadow boxes with a cap, stole, MSD pin and tassel. Two were students who passed away from natural causes. One was a victim from 2/14. It was so sad to see their families go on to the stage and collect these items on their behalf, knowing that they should be there to celebrate and graduate with their classmates.
There were some really phenomenal speeches this year. The salutatorian gave a beautiful speech about kindness. The MSD teacher of the year also gave a moving speech. The highlight of the event was when Dwayne Wade came onto the stage and spoke to the crowd for 11 minutes.
(I tried to upload the video, but it was too long. I’ll post it when I can edit it or change the format)
This year’s ceremony was a little longer than usual. This was the largest graduating class in over nine years. I’m amazed at all of the things these graduates accomplished at MSD, and I can’t wait to see what’s next.
I also sat in the crowd, thinking about my own children. My son will graduate in five years, and my daughter in eight years. While I can’t believe that they’re 13 and 10, it’s even harder to believe that they’ll be off to college in such a short time.