‘May you have fair winds’

Published 12:48 pm Thursday, May 10, 2018

Foremost, I would like to extend my sincerest congratulations Class of 2018. Each Buckingham County High school graduating class is special and as principal, I am normally impartial. However, the class of 2018 holds

Rudolph Roethel

a special place for me, because four years ago, you came to the high school and I became the principal. You were my first class, a special class. Well class of 2018, it has been exciting watching you over these years. Almost immediately, it became apparent that this class was going to be innovative, creative, vibrant, energetic, compassionate, and socially responsible. When we first met, I realized that this class was special and you have shown this to be very true by your actions, commitment to school and community. I wish to thank you for always being open and honest with me on ideas on how we can make the school better. This is your school and your thoughts and proposals have energized the administration and staff to consider new ideas and concepts. Your voices have been heard and I hope you feel that we have listened.

I hope today is a day that you will always remember, reflect on and cherish. High school is a period of transition from childhood to adulthood. It is in high school where you begin to be the person that you will become. High school lays the foundation for your future academic growth, your social interactions, and your ethical and moral development. It is an exciting period of growth, increased freedom, increased responsibility and yes-increased work. As I have watched you grow academically, socially and emotionally over these last four years I am confident that as a class you have made that transition and that you will surmount life’s challenges

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As you move forward in life, please reflect on a few things. In an age of rapid communication, whether face-to-face or through social media, others will judge you on how you interact. It is important to maintain a high level of civility and politeness. Even though you may disagree with others or situations, civility and politeness are something to aspire toward in your life’s journey. Even in division and difference, mutual respect must always be maintained. It is important to listen to each other, and even if you do not agree, your response needs to reflect politeness and civility and always with mutual respect. Each voice is important. Use that voice in a positive manner, to help each other and your community. Remember also, we are all responsible for our actions. Please reflect on that as you move through your lives, as the consequences of your decisions and actions have even more effect and assume greater importance. Look to and work toward doing the right thing, it may not be popular and it may be hard but it is a measure of who we are.

Finally, you should honor your parents and guardians for all their love, encouragement, and support. They have been instrumental in your success today. They have also laid the foundation for your future success.

I wish to thank you for the high honor and opportunity of being your principal. I value it deeply, and will cherish the memories of you always. You have all brought a smile to my face and I very proud of you and your accomplishments and changes you have initiated here at the high school. In closing, I will leave with a nautical blessing, “fair winds and following seas.” May you have fair winds – so that your lives and futures will be smooth, and may you have following seas so that you will get swiftly to your dreams. Thank you for being who you are, who you will be and the future that you will bring.

Rudolph Roethel is principal of Buckingham County High School. His email address is rroethel@bcpschools.org.