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To the graduates: ‘Your life is what you make it’

To the RHS Graduating Class of 2020:

I want to begin this letter to you by saying how tremendously proud I am of each one of you. Graduating from high school is a major accomplishment, but doing so under the circumstances you have faced this school year is something you should also be proud of. Hold your heads high and take pride in what you have accomplished thus far, whether it was in the classroom, on a field, on a stage, through an award or scholarship, or through lessons you have learned.

When we began this school year in August 2019, we decided on two hashtags that would define our year: #MakeADifference and #NoMatterWhat. Obviously, we had no idea at the time that these mantras would basically become the theme for your class.

You have truly had to navigate this year #NoMatterWhat: No matter how hard it was to end the school year unexpectedly in March. No matter how disappointing it was to miss your senior prom or other senior activities. No matter how difficult it has been to complete virtual assignments. No matter how sad it has made you to social distance from your friends. No matter how much you have missed your classmates, teachers and routines. No matter how upended and surreal these past two and a half months have been. No matter how disappointed you are to not have a physical graduation when it was originally planned.

You have persevered through all of this, #NoMatterWhat, and I am amazed at your resiliency.

Even though this has been a tough year, I hope you will take these lessons you have all had the opportunity to learn and apply them to your life and character moving forward. Learning to push through the hard times, shoulder the disappointments, adapt to new circumstances and environments and take responsibility for your own learning are all things that will serve you well in the future.

This experience can be a positive one if you allow these things to better you as a person.

I also hope you will take the other lessons you have learned during your time at RCS and use them to shape you as well: the leadership and teamwork qualities you received from being a student athlete; the time management you learned from your academic work; the responsibility you gained by being part of one of our fine arts programs; the knowledge and friendship-building skills you learned by being involved in extracurricular activities; and the pride and confidence we hope you all feel after being part of this school system.

Your life is what you make it, not what happens to you. And I have all the confidence in the world that the RHS Class of 2020 will forge paths that lead to bright futures and great accomplishments.

Congratulations, Class of 2020! I hope you always know how GREAT it is to be a Golden Tiger!

Heath Grimes

RCS Superintendent