Many of you have written and called to ask, “Have we thought about what will happen to commencement and prom?”
My answer: Every day.
Every day I think about how we can make it up to you. We aren’t exactly sure how, but we are committed to making the end of your senior year memorable. You deserve a great send off from McCaskey! During our livestreamed school board meeting on Tuesday night, I said commencement and prom are activities we hold dear, and we will make them happen in some way. I meant that!
We know that prom is about celebrating with friends, teachers and teammates, and creating memories that will last a lifetime. Prom is about the people, not the dresses or tuxedos.
Commencement is about recognizing your hard work. We look forward to celebrating your accomplishments with families and friends. As far as I am concerned, your big celebration can happen any day — not just in June.
For now, it’s best that we all do our part to prevent the spread of the coronavirus and stay home. I encourage you to keep your mind stimulated. Read books you haven’t had time to read, listen to music, take virtual trips to museums, call a friend or family member who lives far away. Continue to learn. Work on your passions.
We will get through this. You are a resilient and special group of young people. You are 9/11 babies, children of the Columbine generation, and now graduates delayed by a global pandemic. I’m confident that the future chapters of your life will be filled with joy, achievement and peace.
The Chilean poet and Nobel Prize winner Pablo Neruda famously wrote, “Podrán cortar todas las flores, pero no podrán detener la primavera,” or, “You can cut all the flowers, but you cannot keep spring from coming.”
I say to all of our students: Spring is coming! Know that the adults in your life, your family and the School District of Lancaster faculty and staff are here for you, thinking of you, and dreaming up grand ideas for when you get back. I miss you, and I can’t wait to see you again.
Together we can — and together we will!
Damaris Rau, Ed.D., is superintendent of the School District of Lancaster.