RMHS Class of 2021, I am so – so happy to be here with you this evening to celebrate and honor you. You have faced many challenges and struggles over the past year and a half during the COVID-19 pandemic and have missed out on many traditional high school milestones. Yet through it, all you have remained strong, have demonstrated true resilience and a fierce tenacity. Our in-person Prom and Field Day (two amazing events) are a testament to this. Those were amazing events! A huge Thank you to our class office, advisors, and parents for making these events happen!
You have also exhibited empathy, deep care for others, and a commitment to service and social justice. You built desks for classrooms, collected books to donate to libraries, donated much-needed food to local pantries and shelters, collected sneakers for those in need, and donated essential personal care items for veterans. You participated in sports, music, drama, and other clubs and activities remotely and in-person wearing masks with gusto and enthusiasm – finding sheer joy at being able to interact with your classmates and do something you love no matter the platform. Finally, you took on the Herculean task of learning in remote and hybrid circumstances with grace and maturity – may you NEVER have to experience a Zoom class lesson ever again!
Every quality you have collectively exhibited embodies all we hope for in our graduates of Reading Public Schools. You have inspired me to have the 2021 commencement ceremony be the venue to share our Portrait of the Reading Public Schools Graduate with the entire Reading Community. As I share our vision for you as graduates I invite you to take time to reflect on all you have accomplished, the values you hold close, and your hopes and dreams for your future:
Portrait of a Reading Public School Graduate
Reading Public School Graduates are leaders of their own learning journey who demonstrate kindness and empathy towards others and a commitment to wellness. They persevere through challenges, embrace multiple perspectives, and aspire to be their best selves in the service of others to better our community and our world.
Learn – Grow – Teach
Reading Public School Graduates are critical thinkers and creative problem solvers. They take ownership of their learning journey and are open to struggle to foster personal growth. They are confident in their beliefs and consider the thoughts and ideas of others. They embrace collaboration to help teach others and remain curious life-long learners.
Empathize – Consider Perspectives – Practice Communal Care
Reading Public School Graduates show kindness and empathy towards others and a commitment to personal wellness and communal care. They are able to persevere through challenges and demonstrate resilience. They authentically reflect through hearing and understanding the experiences, perspectives, and needs of people around them. To navigate relationships with generosity and patience, they listen actively and compassionately.
Engage – Serve – Thrive
Reading Public School Graduates responsibly shape our world through collaboration with their community. They engage with and communicate multiple perspectives, aspire to be their best selves in the service of others in order to thrive, and bring their skills and knowledge to action for the benefit of each other and our world.
RMHS Class of 2021, we have loved and nurtured you, challenged you, taught you, cared for you, coached you, and encouraged you for the past 12 years. You are ready to take on this next chapter in your life story. Make us Rocket Proud!