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RHS Graduation Speech June 2013 Daniel Fishbein, Ed.D.


RHS Graduation Speech June 2013
Daniel Fishbein, Ed.D.

Dr. Fishbein delivered the following speech at the Ridgewood High School commencement on June 26, 2013.

Thank you, Dr. Gorman. Good evening. I would like to extend my congratulations to the members of the Class of 2013, as well as to your parents, your families and friends, to the faculty members and administrators who have taught you and guided you, and the entire Ridgewood community who have been so important in your development and success.

We are he re tonight to publicly celebrate that success, to express our pride, and to award you the diplomas that officially certify you as graduates of one of the best public high schools in this nation. This moment signifies a most important achievement. You have proven yourselves accomplished and ready to move on to the next level, to accept new challenges toward becoming fully engaged adults and responsible citizens.

When you think back about your time at Ridgewood High School and your entire Ridgewood Public School experience, you will remember the good times, the teachers, your friends and all the accomplishments that make you who you are today.

One of ironies about the road to success is that challenges,historical events
, and even failure are a key part of that journey. And while tonight we concentrate on remembering the good times, it is important to remember, too, that the difficult times, the events that challenged you and may even have ended in failure, have been just as important in shaping your growth as have the best grades you may have earned, the awards you may have won and the praise you have received for doing well.

Just as you faced challenges in school from your earliest years–when your first lessons focused on learning to tie your shoes, then progressed to the basics of reading and writing–I want you to understand that your educational experience with the Ridgewood Public Schools is a sum of successes and sometime disappointments that is truly greater than the whole.

Cramming for tests; struggling with difficult assignments; juggling a heavy work load; facing fierce athletic opponents; performing in front of a critical audience; and yes, even having to get to school on time…Learning the social, emotional and relationship skills to handle life’s pressures and demands are as equally important for the next chapter in your life as the strong academic foundation you worked so hard to secure.

You members of the Class of 2013 have together also faced some unusual trials, tribulations,and historical events during your time in the Ridgewood Public Schools. You have witnessed and lived through some extraordinary events that have shaped both our community and our country’s history. For example:

You were just starting first grade when our nation experienced the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the terrible tragedy of September 11th , 2001.You were in 5th grade when Hurricane Katrina hit our shores

You were in 8th grade and witnessed history when this nation elected the first black President of the United States.

You were freshmen when an earthquake occurred in Haiti.You were high school sophomores when Japan was struck by the largest earthquake in its history, triggering a tsunami that caused a nuclear plant disaster.

As juniors, you were challenged with a very personal loss, the passing of one of your own classmates, Nick Campenello.

And your senior year began with the one-two punch of Hurricane Sandy, followed by the heartbreaking shootings at the Sandy Hook Elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut.

With each of these events, you have learned more and more about yourselves as individuals and what it means to be members of a community. By witnessing these highs and the lows of humanity and history– and yes, even the wrath of the weather
–you have learned how to channel raw emotions into real efforts for relief. You have gotten a glimpse of the importance of seeking to understand and determining to do
better. You have come to appreciate that obstacles can be overcome and to hold out hope for a better tomorrow.

In a few short moments you will become Ridgewood High School graduates, which means that no matter where your life takes you, you will forever share a common bond with a unique and distinguished group of people, that is, fellow RHS alumni.

Tonight, you will celebrate at the final party of the Class of 2013. Tomorrow, you will start looking ahead to a new chapter in your life. Looking forward may be scary, but I am confident when I say– You are ready for the challenges ahead.

I want to say thank you to the entire Ridgewood community for your support of the Ridgewood Public Schools. I offer my best wishes to you, the graduates, and your families in your continued success.

As Superintendent, I hereby certify to the community that the students before you have met the State of New Jersey and the rigorous Ridgewood requirements for graduation.

Congratulations to all of you!

One thought on “RHS Graduation Speech June 2013 Daniel Fishbein, Ed.D.

  1. The Wayne Valley story in the paper this morning and today’s arrest is incredible.

    Nice speech as well.

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