Summer school grads deserve praise

Published 9:34 pm Tuesday, August 10, 2021

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Their high school diplomas demanded of them more work, more dedication and more commitment, but in the end, more than 60 summer school graduates from Suffolk Public Schools this year were granted permission to relax for a little bit by Superintendent Dr. John B. Gordon III.

The ceremony on Aug. 5 was rightly filled with celebration, pomp and circumstance for the graduates from King’s Fork, Lakeland and Nansemond River high schools. They heard inspiring speeches, walked across the stage to receive their diplomas and enjoyed themselves after the ceremony, with everyone acknowledging the hard work they had put in to get to this point.

Speaking with the wisdom and perspective of all those of us who look back on high school as a distant memory, Gordon told the graduates not to look down on themselves because they are graduating from summer school. “In 10 or 20 years from now, nobody’s going to remember anyway,” he sagely stated.

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Indeed, it is what one does after high school that truly matters.

Gordon advised the graduates to set goals after they were done celebrating and write down the steps necessary to achieve those goals. He also advised them to grow, step out on their own and move out of their parents’ homes. Spending time inspiring other young people should also be on their to-do list, he advised.

For many of these graduates, formal education may not have come as easily as it did for their peers that graduated in June, but they never gave up, and we think that deserves a special kudos. They’re now set to go out into the world and move on to more education, employment or military service as newly minted high school graduates.

We can’t wait to see what they will do next. Dream big, class of 2021.