Each year I am given the opportunity to write few words to the graduating class in our yearbook. It’s always my toughest writing assignment because there is just so much to say with such little space to say it. This year’s graduating class holds a special place for me because it is the first group that I have been with for all four years at DFHS. As this class prepares for college and life thereafter, the theme of “interdependence” is one that is perhaps more relevant now than at any other time in our history. While social media has connected us in ways that we could have never imagined even ten years ago, it has done little to reduce the divided nature of our world and has brought us no closer to any form of world peace.
In typical fashion, I identified a quote from a past President that captures the overall theme. It is not a personal endorsement of the respective President and the choice is never made as a result of an allegiance to a particular political party. In truth, we need to move beyond partisanship if we truly wish to accomplish all that we wish to achieve as a community, a nation, and a global society.
With that, here is my “missive” to the Class of 2015…
To the Graduating Class of 2015,
At a speech given at Harvard University in 2001, President William J. Clinton spoke to the students and other members of the audience about the increasingly interdependent nature of our global society. In doing so, he pointed out that we “live in the age of interdependence. Borders don’t count for much or stop much, good or bad, anymore.” In some ways, President Clinton was ahead of his time with his remarks as we had only just begun to realize the level of connectedness that our world would soon experience due to technology, social media, and a seemingly endless expansion of radio and television media.
The Dobbs Ferry community possessed a similar vision in the late 1990s when the district made the commitment to pursue authorization as an IB World School. The IB Mission of creating a “better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect” is embedded into all aspects of our curriculum and has been at the heart of the education that you have received. As graduates, you possess the necessary foundation to lead the next generation of global citizens as we strive for world peace, harmony, and togetherness. The challenge is there if you wish to accept it. It’s up to you.
We began our journey at Dobbs Ferry High School in very much the same way. Your first nervous day of walking through the halls of our school was my first nervous day of walking those same halls. Over the past four years I have watched this graduating class do extraordinary things with great pride and admiration. From your success in the classroom, your tremendous talents in the arts and sciences, and your fortitude and perseverance on the field, this class has made the impossible seem very possible as new heights were reached in all areas and disciplines. It is in this spirit that I hope you will leave our high school and work to create a better world than the one you inherited while always pursuing the very best that life has to offer.
I wish all of the members of the Class of 2015 the very best for an great final semester at DFHS. Make the most of it and make it count.