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Ennis Daily News

An ending that is also a beginning

Education is simply the soul of a society as it passes from one generation to another.

— Gilbert K. Chesterton

Barbara Qualls

This last week of school is such a whirlwind of activity. I have enjoyed recently so many of the events that are geared toward creating lasting memories for the Class of 2011. A very special thank you goes out to the parents who have made these special occasions ones that the kids can enjoy now and remember for decades. Celebration of graduation is a community-wide event and I think it appropriate that Polka Festival is so close to graduation – it just makes the party last a little longer! The term “commencement” has been used as long as I can remember (or find references for) to signify the end of a life phase – like the end of elementary school, the end of vacation Bible school and other important periods. When I learned to read and got a definition for “commencement” that meant “start” it took me several more years to finally understand that any event marking the end of one life phase also signified the start of a new phase.

Our 300-plus students graduating Friday night are concluding one incredibly important part of their lives. For the last 18 years, they have been in a structured environment with hundreds of people watching out for them, caring for them, supporting their decisions and helping them live with the consequences of those decisions. After crossing the stage and accepting the handshake from Dr. Mack Boyd that launches them into the next phase of their lives, thus the concept of “commencement” of a new phase. It may be a little scary but is also very exciting to consider that in less than a week, we will have over 300 more folks in Ennis with a high school education.

After that graduation ceremony, our students will scatter in over 300 different directions. Some will go far away for college while others will pursue higher education close to home. Others will join the armed services and serve our country as they continue the process of growing up. In just a very few years, all of them will have assumed the roles and responsibilities of adults. They’ll be teachers, lawyers, doctors, policemen – and many of them will also be parents who will be concerned about repeating their own quality education for their children.

To the parents of the class of 2011: Your time of day-to-day responsibility may be coming to an end but your 2011 senior will need your wisdom and support for decades to come. They have reached the position high school graduate with your help as well as that of their neighbors, extended family, church family and the community at large. Ennis is one of the strongest and most tightly knit communities I’ve had the privilege to serve where so many people have such an interest in the well-being of its children. Thank you for everything you have done and for all those future acts of support that you will give these young graduates.

To the class of 2011: What a marvelous adventure you have had and what even better things lie in store! College is a terrific time where you can have much of the protection and security of a kid but also much of the freedom of an adult. No one will make you get up early or go to bed early, but nobody will call in to explain your absence, either. You will choose when and what you eat but no one will cook it for you. Lots of changes!

To the EISD staff who has molded, taught, trained and cajoled these graduates: Thank you for a great and challenging job, very well done.

Barbara Qualls is the superintendent of the Ennis Independent School District.

 

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Posted by on May 31 2011. Filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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