Alexandria Good morning.
Have you ever wondered what spirit it took, what determination, what drive … or maybe desperation … to load up all your belongings and your family on a Conestoga Wagon and head westward?
And many of you here in this room and in our community know of the strength, of the hope of a better tomorrow, of the nerve it takes to pack up your family and head off from your home country to a new country, which has a different language and different customs.
Think of the many unknowns and dangers facing those who sailed the seas to come to this country or who rode on top of trains or who traveled the dusty trails west; yet, thousands of families who helped to create this country headed off into the sunset in search of a better tomorrow. That is who we are as an American people.
By the way, I didn’t see any questions on the SOLs about courage, determination, or beliefs in a better tomorrow … even though those skills and attitudes are the bedrock of what brings us together as a country, and what makes these young men and women so notable.
So, let me be the first today to congratulate you and call you by what you shall be proud of for the rest of your lives: The TC Titan Class of 2013. This class is to be saluted and honored as our pioneers, as our drivers of a new day and of a new spirit at TC.
The words transformation and the acronym PLA are part of your lives. That’s all you have known as students since you started here as 10 graders … three years ago.
Mrs. Maxey and the new ways of TC are how you have lived, and thrived.
And what you have accomplished is nothing short of founding a new school … creating a new world … setting new standards.
You as a class have gone about your work while the world around you was changing.
I am so proud to report to this community that you are our transformation generation … Generation T!
Over 95 percent of the class that started in September will graduate today.
Over 54 percent of you have taken AP courses … the highest ever at TC … let me repeat that … the highest ever at TC. Whether you get a 2 or a 5 on the AP test is almost secondary in importance to the fact that you tried, worked hard, stretched so far beyond what previous generations of students ever did.
53 percent of the graduating class report that they will attend a 4-year college, 40 percent a two-year or technical school, 7 percent military or work.
Our students will be attending schools such as: Dartmouth (student received a full scholarship to attend), two are going to Yale (one again, received a full ride), Stanford, University of Chicago, Oberlin College & Conservatory, Tulane, Vassar, Arizona State, University of Alabama, Colorado State, Florida A&M, Miami University, almost all Virginia schools are represented, as well as all of the armed forces.
277 - Advanced Studies Diploma
393 - Standard Diploma
7 - Modified Diploma
28 - IEP Diploma
But at the end of this day and all days to come, you as a class won’t be remembered by AP courses, because not all of you took those courses, and you don’t have to go to college to change the world … the bottom line for this class is that you are good people, who care about one another, who made a difference in how TC is viewed by the community.
I so much respect the members of the Class of 2013. Thank you for working hard, showing respect, and for being pioneers.
Wishing you life times of good health, happiness, peace, and love.