Graduation is the culminating event of each academic year for our community. I love that our graduation is here at school; I love that the ceremony is simple and features more student voices than grown up ones; and I love that all of us, families, community, faculty, staff, and Board, gather to acknowledge and name the milestone that high school graduation is. I believe it takes all of us to get our seniors to that moment, whether we have taught each student personally or not. This combined work and effort, our consideration of each and all, is a synergy.
Synergy comes from the Greek word synergos which means “working together.” It isn’t simply that we work together, though, that makes our work a synergy. Cooperation or collaboration would capture that. It is that our collective effectiveness is increased when we work together, and I think that graduation is a time to honor this as well. Our primary constituency is our students; the most concrete product we offer is a diploma; and it is our collective effectiveness that helps guide them to graduation and beyond.
If you had the opportunity to parent, mentor, or teach any of our graduating seniors, you can trust, I believe, that you have had an effect on them. The proof of this may not be known, however, until they visit or communicate with you during college and beyond. For most of us, though, the proof of this may never be known. We are to offer our very best on behalf of our students, and we must trust that they carry it with them, to some degree, after they turn their tassels and step off the stage
If you have not had the opportunity to parent, mentor, or teach any of our graduating seniors, you can also trust, I believe, that you have had an effect on them. All of us contribute to this learning community. Learning is all of our work, and our students benefit from this commitment and orientation even when they do not interact with us. I cannot name each influence colleagues, current and past, have had on my teaching and leading and therefore on my students. I suspect this might be true for you as well. Since we know that what affects one directly affects all indirectly, we can be assured that our contribution to Crossroads has impacted our graduating seniors as well whether we have taught them or not.
It takes this synergy, this working together in such a way that increase our effectiveness individually and as a whole, that we might also celebrate at graduation. So I am looking forward to Sunday, to the culminating event of the academic year, and to all the ways we can celebrate how working together has helped to shape and influence our graduating seniors.
With great expectations,