A Principal’s Speech to the Class of 2017

Tonight you earn EAB’s greatest honor when you receive the High School Diploma from the American School of Brasília.  Our diploma symbolizes the successful completion of a comprehensive educational program that embodies what we believe as educators and what EAB stands for as an institution. Tonight we celebrate you for earning this honor.

So enjoy today and enjoy this special time in your life.  But while you celebrate what has been accomplished, don’t be fooled into thinking you did it alone.  For as much as this ceremony is a celebration of today and the possibility of tomorrow, it is also a night to honor those who helped you along the way.  You are here tonight not only due to your talent and hard work, but also because you had people around you – teachers, coaches, mentors, friends, family and especially parents – who gave you support, guided you when you erred, celebrated when you won and loved you when you failed.  They were with you every step of the way and so as you look to the future please be sure to honor your past and those who helped you arrive at where you are today.  

In a few minutes you will no longer be EAB students and completely out of my sphere of influence, so I am going to use my short time to make two final requests: first, for the final time as a group, PLEASE thank your teachers for the tremendous work they have done to help get you to today.  

Finally, thank the people who love you most in this world and forever will: your parents.  I have told you many times this week that you will never understand how much your parents love you, and what a big moment this is for them, until you have children of your own.  So please, take a moment now to thank your parents.  This is a formal ceremony, but if you need to get up to see your parents and mouth “thank you” and “I love you” then you can leave your seats.  

It has been a great privilege for me to spend this last week with you.  And what have I seen during that time?  As individuals and as a group you have been unified, organized and proud.  You have acted with gratitude and kindness.  You have laughed and shared great joy.  You have not been perfect. We never are.  But you have been great in your final days as students of EAB.   

And now you head out into the world.  You are ready.  What’s more, I speak on behalf of the entire High School Faculty when I say that we are proud of you, proud of who you are, proud of what you have accomplished, and thankful that we got to share this important time in your lives with you.  

And as you now strike out to make your way in the world we hope for you happiness.  We hope for you love. We hope for you peace and joy.  We hope for you passion and purpose.  We hope you accomplish your heart’s desire.  We hope you find the courage within yourself to be kind and the strength to be persistent. Finally, we hope – we believe – you will represent this school well and that throughout your lives you will leave each place you touch a bit better for your having been there.  

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