When we started this school year, everything seemed pretty typical.
In my visits to classrooms and schools across the Commonwealth, we had casual conversations about the spring musical, the school play, spring sports, senior projects, the prom, and many other traditional activities that high school seniors celebrate. Some exciting, and some stressful.
We never could have guessed that for many of us, our kitchen tables would be our new classrooms, our teachers would be connecting remotely, and technology would be our new lifeline to friends and other members of the school community.
In the beginning, this new world scared us.
Quite frankly, sometimes it still does.
Seasoned educators like me wondered how we were going to step up and do the best job we could serving you - be the adults you deserve.
But again, like so many times before, we learned from you.
We learned how to manage adversity with resilience and innovation.
We applauded as you sang, played, and acted scenes from your spring musicals online for not only your friends, but for the world to see.
We saw you utilize the technology to create equipment for first responders and families in need.
We saw you utilize your new-found time and freedom to feed families.
We saw you make these unprecedented times your time.
Through all of the challenges, you taught us how to navigate in this new space. You showed leadership. Your lessons not only served as life experiences to be remembered, but up-close and personal insight of the leaders you're going to be after high school. The type of leaders that has had things they prepared for their whole school experience taken away from them, through no fault of their own, and continued to move forward. The type of leaders who made sacrifices to ensure public health and safety. The type of leader that improved extremely difficult decisions with focus, innovation, use of technology, and quite often, a great sense of humor.
Through your shared experiences, we've laughed together, we've cried with you, you made us more thoughtful and reflective.
But above all, you made us so proud.