WORDS FROM THE SUP’T: Grads always welcome home

Last week, we sent the Clarkston Class of 2018 into the world to begin their next adventure as graduates of Clarkston Community Schools. Graduation alway stirs up bittersweet feelings…one season of life must end for another to begin, and that transition evokes a lot of emotions!
We have a tradition in Clarkston of sending each graduating senior a personalized letter that includes well wishes and memories from current and former teachers. As the dad of a 2017 graduate who received one of these personalized cards last June, I have seen first-hand how surprised and touched our students are to receive these notes. You can imagine my son’s expression when he opened the note and read:
Jake, I am so glad that you were in my class. You have always been such a mature, respectful, responsible young man. I am excited to see what your future holds.” Mrs. Hohlbein (CHS)
“Jacob, It was an absolute pleasure to be your kindergarten teacher.  I am sure you will do great things in life. Congratulations!” Mrs. Brazier (Pine Knob Elementary)
Our students are so supported here in Clarkston, not only by our extraordinary faculty and staff, but also by you: parents, grandparents, friends and neighbors. Our celebration in Depot Park last month is just one example of how this community rallies for our kids. Each year as we send another class of graduates out into the world, the encouragement and unconditional love they experienced throughout their childhood in Clarkston will be an anchor for them. They will always have a place to call home in Clarkston.
In her graduation remarks, CHS senior speaker Annalise Walker said:
“We’ve been growing in these schools for quite some time and now we’re ready to be set free, and sometimes that’s the hardest part. But with the difficulty of leaving such an amazing community, we should remember all of the blessings that it is sending us with. The backbone of a community that is proud of us, and wants to see us succeed. People to connect with that bring us back to our childhood. And the privilege of joining the adults that helped raise us in this community. I have a never-ending gratitude to those who contributed everyday to my wellbeing and my education.
To our teachers and parents, administrators and peers, I think I can speak for all of us and say thank you.They say it takes a village to raise a child, and I want to thank the village of Clarkston for raising me.”
Shawn Ryan is superintendent of Clarkston Community Schools

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