Head of School Commencement Address
Families and friends, members of the Board of Trustees, esteemed faculty, and, most of all, students of the Francis Parker School graduating class of 2011 – it is my pleasure and honor to welcome you to our commencement celebration.
As Head of School, I would like to take this opportunity to do two things. First, I want to thank the members of the class of 2011 for your many contributions to the life of Francis Parker School. In ways both big and small, you have left an indelible mark on our school through your achievements, your spirit and your many talents and gifts. We thank you, we celebrate you, we honor you, and, undoubtedly, we shall miss you.
The second thing I would like to do is share some practical advice. Although, it is my own advice. No doubt, your life of late has been chockfull of advice from parents, teachers, friends and others. However, unlike all of the good counsel and guidance you have received, my advice to you shall mention little about college or coursework, and even less about prospective careers. Instead, I wish to share with you a few timeless` bits of wisdom that I hope you might consider.
So here is my advice to you:
• Whenever asked to speak formally, be sincere, be brief, and be seated.
• Learn to keep secrets and confidences; don’t ever be afraid to ask for help; trust your own voice; and go easy on yourself – for some days you may be the only person who does.
• Be a grateful and humble dinner guest and offer to do the dishes.
• Do not stand up until after the captain has turned off the fasten seat belt sign.
• And always, measure twice, and cut once.
• Take compliments graciously, and give compliments freely; be quick to appreciate and slow to blame.
• When you win, you are most likely never as good as everyone tells you, and when you lose you are certainly never as bad as they say you are. So say little in victory and say nothing in defeat.
• Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple; and sometimes the road less traveled is less traveled for a reason.
• Don’t do anything just to get even, and don’t ever hit “send” when you are mad or out of sorts.
• Do not get a credit card until you earn your second paycheck; and always be kind and respectful to your elders; with a little luck one day you may be just as extraordinary as them.
• Finally, in the words of one legendary author, “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You are now on your own. And you are the one who will decide where you go.
Congratulations, be well and stay in touch. You will always be welcome at Parker.
Friday July, 15, 2011 at 11:29AM