Let me begin by welcoming all of you to today’s graduation.  I am very pleased to speak here today on what I know is a very special day. It’s special for the graduates, for their proud parents & grandparents, and for their teachers. Today is one of those great occasions when we get to celebrate our young people – their achievements, their perseverance and their successes as they grow.  It’s one of the times you can take a break and reflect, feeling good as a parent or a teacher, knowing that the kids you care about are doing just fine and they’re on the right path.
Eighth Grade: I remember your wide eyes and smiling faces in 1st grade – the excitement of being together and learning something new.  Every day of 8th grade I saw those sparkling eyes, smiling faces, asking…”What are we going to do today?” as you gathered in the classroom every morning.  I look up at you now – and know that those wide eyes and smiling faces are ready.  With every year, you have become a little more independent.  You have learned much and you have matured.  You persevered, and you have succeeded.  You face a future that holds the unknown: exciting experiences, sad experiences, challenging experiences.  With the foundation you have built here at Sacred Heart School, with the love of your family and friends, and with your faith, you will meet whatever life has in store for you.   I never thought I’d leave the magic of first grade, but being able to spend the last three years with all of you, watching you grow into the fine young people you are today, has been such a pleasure.  You have grown into young men and women that would make a mother, a teacher, very proud. Each and every one of you has a special place in my heart.   You are ready for the next step.
However, I ask you to take this chance to dedicate yourself to making the next year even better.  Remember that you don’t have to follow the crowd.  Do the right thing, even if no one is looking.  Study hard, check your work, and remember that you’re investing in yourself with every test you take and every book you read.   And finally, don’t be in too big of a hurry to grow up.  These are some great times in your life.  Don’t rush past them. Embrace the life God gives you, always seek His face, always hope, always dream, work hard, pray hard, serve often, laugh often, and love unconditionally…as He has always loved you.  So…Congratulations to the Class of 2015, Congratulations to the parents, and finally to all the teachers and everyone else who helped our graduates reach here today.  Congratulations, Class of 2015 – Here we go!