Endurance plus character…counts

Dear Class of 2022,

Seniors, you’ve made it! Congratulations to the Class of ’22, a group of proud seniors that has so much to celebrate, especially after enduring tremendous challenges and loss during your high school years. You’ve missed experiences and milestones because of the pandemic, and you’ve grieved the tragic loss of your beloved principal. Yet you have walked on bravely, boldly, and with optimism through the past year. Your class has made its mark in the history of this excellent school district as one like no other–the one that triumphed.

Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Intelligence plus character–that is the goal of true education.” Daily, I see this lived in LM. The class and school pride that each of you possesses, and your willingness to come together as a community to support one another–through celebrations and heartaches–is unmatched. You have truly worked to embody the motto and mantra of late Principal Sean Hughes: Character Counts.

As seniors, you have spent much of your time at LM working diligently on academics, challenging yourselves to achieve at high levels. You’ve no doubt sacrificed social time and even sleep in the pursuit of excellent grades and test scores. The academic skills, accomplishments, and foundation you’ve gained are critically important, but equally so are the relationships you’ve built–with teachers, classmates, coaches, and even your school administrators. I hope you’ll continue to nurture and cherish these relationships as you move into the next phase of your life. I hope you will know and remember that LM will always remain a welcoming home base and cheering section, eager to welcome you back. 

In addition to all the academic knowledge your teachers have spent so much time imparting over the last four years, I hope you will leave Lower Merion with the knowledge that the qualities your teachers and coaches have fostered are paramount: endurance, patience, perseverance, kindness, respect, responsibility, courage, creativity, ingenuity, collegiality, and optimism. I’ve witnessed this senior class embodying all of these throughout the year in different ways and in different moments. Each of these qualities will serve you well as you journey on through the next chapter of your life.

If asked what each of us wants for our graduates, the staff and faculty of this high school will most likely point to happiness and success. A true measurement for both of these is elusive. Each of us must determine how we define them, and you may find that as you age, your definition evolves based on any number of factors and experiences. As you move into your life after LM, I challenge each of you to think about both happiness and success as not just what you’ve accomplished academically or athletically or by how much money you’ll earn or how many diplomas you’ll hang on your wall, but rather by the way you impact those around you. Ultimately, it is the people we touch, the relationships we hold, and the impact we have on our world that brings the most enduring rewards.

As you graduate you’ll be given lots of advice: Work hard. Follow your dreams. Pursue your passions. Make a difference in the world. Don’t give up. This is all excellent advice! I am confident each of you will find your own unique and wonderful path, and, along the way, I hope you’ll reflect back on your time at Lower Merion and know that you are valued, loved, and cared for, and that your success is our success. We are so proud of you. Congratulations!.

 

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