Just the Beginning

Just the Beginning

— Recently, the keynote speaker at Wellesley High School in Massachusetts delivered a profound message to its graduates: “You are not special.” While his remarks were intended to be a reality check for students … a reminder of how competitive the world will be after leaving high school … I believe the T.C. Williams High School Class of 2012 is special. Each and every student is special because of who they are and the community from which they hail. Beyond wishing them the very best, we charge them to take care of themselves and to take care of others and to always remember that they are special. Once a Titan; always a Titan.

Having been part of more than 35 high school graduations as a superintendent, each one is inspiring and deeply touching. This year’s graduation at T.C. Williams High School on June 16 was truly inspiring and touching. Each graduate, each faculty member and each family member felt some pride and joy, some love and happiness and a great sense of accomplishment as a participant in these commencement exercises.

They are remarkable Titans; good caring young men and women with a sense of responsibility. Academically, this class has continued the transformation of T.C. with the largest percentage of any T.C. class taking AP courses – 53 percent and leading the way with a pass rate of more than 92 percent on the English and Writing SOLs. The Class of 2012 has produced special leaders in many arenas, winning awards in journalism, the arts, sciences, athletics and producing two National Merit Scholarship and two National Achievement Scholarship recipients.

These graduates are going on to great experiences in life including attending some of the best colleges and universities in the nation. Members of the Class of 2012 will attend Georgetown University, Dartmouth College, Columbia University, University of Virginia, The Ohio State University, Syracuse University, Cornell University, John Hopkins University, and many other great institutions across the country. They will enlist in the military, and they will work in fields that they received training in through our Career and Technical Education courses at T.C. Williams High School.

Like the tree that is the gift from the Class of 2012 to the school – a gift in memory of the seniors who we lost this year, T.C. will continue to grow and to flourish. While our recent graduates are making their start in the world, we will continue to work toward preparing our next class of graduates. We will continue preparing them from elementary school with high standards, high expectations, and excellent teaching.

Each year brings a new beginning. I hope you will join us next year and remain involved in the education of our children as we work to meet the needs of our students with the launch of the T.C. Satellite Campus, enhanced elementary reading guidelines, a new plan for the Talented and Gifted program and continued commitment to ensuring all students receive an excellent education in Alexandria City Public Schools.