Graduating Lee seniors scan the Patriot Center stands for parents, friends and relatives.
Photo by Tim Peterson.
As one of two “senior marshalls,” Simran Batra was responsible for guiding Robert E. Lee High School seniors to and from their seats with a two-foot wooden mace, engraved lovingly with graduating class dates back to 1987. Once the June 16 program began, Batra put down the mace and took the stage at the George Mason University Patriot Center to address the graduating class of 2015 as secretary.
“We find a part of ourselves looking at the future and another part reminiscing about the past,” she said. “Imagine if you could progress that much every four years for the rest of your life.”
Lee’s first-year principal Deirdre M. Lavery followed Batra on the speakers list, commenting that of the 386 graduates, 229 of them took at least one International Baccalaureate class at the school.
“That’s extremely impressive,” she said. “Approaching the end of my first year, I’m continually amazed by your achievements,” Lavery continued.
To be successful on a path that she said would “be much different” than the one their parents have taken, the principal offered three pieces of advice to the seniors: “Be an enquirer,” “Stay focused on the journey but keep your eye on the outcome,” and “Maintain balance in your life.”
Commencement speaker Lesli Foster, a WUSA9 evening news anchor, also chose to advise graduates with a list. “You’re going to have to declare a few things,” she said. “You put them in motion so they become yours.”
To be certain they sunk in, Foster had students repeat the five declarations at the conclusion of her speech:
*I will choose faith over fear.
*I will find a door and open it.
*I will figure out who I am and who I intend to be.
*When I can’t find the strength to do what’s necessary, I will ask for help from those who do have the strength.
*I will continue to give back to others while I am here in the universe.