My Message to the Class of 2020
Allison Brown, Superintendent of Schools
I know that these last few months were not the way you planned to spend your senior year, but that does not diminish your achievement in the least. You have earned this honor, perhaps even more than the graduates of the past, because of the very unusual circumstances you had to navigate to get here.
Needless to say, the Class of 2020 is facing a challenge that is unique in our history. It's not a challenge that any of us wanted or planned for, but this is what life brings us sometimes. Graduation speeches are often filled with life lessons and advice for the future, but you have just had one of the most important lessons that anyone can learn: nothing is certain, and no outcome is guaranteed. It's not an easy lesson to take in, especially when you're young and filled with hopes and dreams. But you're not the first graduates who have embarked on life's journey while the world was in the grip of a major emergency. Just like all others before you who overcame war or disease or economic calamity, you too will find a way through this hardship. There's more than one pathway to your dreams.
One reason why I am optimistic about your future is because of the perseverance you have demonstrated in the last few months. Your commitment to your studies under less than ideal conditions, your many gestures of kindness, and your bonds of friendship, are all signs of strength and resilience. I cannot tell you how incredibly moved I have been by some of the video messages that you have sent to your teachers and staff at Roslyn High School. They display a maturity and grace far beyond your years. It seemed at times as if you, the students, were trying to reassure us, the adults, that everything would turn out all right. And it's because of you that I have confidence that things will turn out all right.
The pandemic has given the Class of 2020 a platform and a voice that you would not otherwise have had. The world is eager to hear what you have to say, and to see what you will do. That is a great responsibility. I urge you to continue to use your voice as a force for good. Few generations have the opportunity to bring about great and beneficial change in society. You may not have asked for this opportunity, but it's here, and you must seize it. I have not the slightest doubt that you are up to meeting every challenge that will come your way.
My warmest congratulations to the Class of 2020!
June 26, 2020