To my Chinese students on the other side of the world, my American students who/whom (final answer?🤔) I’ve missed immeasurably and my very own daughter, Caroline and niece, Juliana (and their spirited cadre of friends) . . . .

Please accept my heartiest congratulations as you prepare for high school commencement.  You have worked diligently in an unprecedented historical crisis and have sacrificed so much for this worthy achievement. Honestly, what you all have had to give up during your senior year breaks my heart. Despite all the loss, you should feel proud, accomplished, and encouraged. What I know is this . . . you are RESILIENT!

I will remember the adventures we’ve shared since Springdale Preparatory’s inauguration with a huge smile on my face. Our reading of literature and poetry, watching of films, and sharing of lively discussion have opened my eyes on more than a few occasions.  Trips to Carroll Lutheran Village, Helping Up Mission, and Brethren Service Center to serve our community, as well as adventures on the Chesapeake, through New York City and into the caverns of Virginia (just to name a few!) enabled us the gift of becoming a family of adventurers and ignited learners. We have ALL learned resilience over the last three years. We’ve practiced meditation and yoga, taken nature walks, and enjoyed class out under the large oak tree- in all of it I hope we’ve become more aware and willing to let our creativity flow. It has been a joy to learn from and with each of you.

As you embark on a new season of growth, I encourage you to live with integrity.  Honor your truest self. Take time to be quiet, go deep within, and allow your dreams to bubble forth without fear. Your unique set of gifts will never be replicated, so get to know and love yourself fully, and keep your heart open.

You are entering a world not measured by grades. Live deeply and purposefully accept the inevitable peaks and valleys with a calm heart and steady breath. Avoid adopting a “completion” mindset, for life is abundantly more than test scores, degrees, accolades, and titles. Life is for the living. 

Live fully. 

Share generously.

Listen intently.

 Love extravagantly.

Breathe deeply.

Do these things for yourself first, and as a result, the overflow of your heart will touch those with whom you connect.

My  friends, my heart is full of gratitude and affection for each of you. Be well. Be good to one another.  Stay in touch. I am here, in your corner, cheering you on and excited to watch your journey. I celebrate you! Congratulations, to all graduates of 2020!

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