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News from the Superintendent

Posted: May 1, 2020

Finding Another Way

In her weekly message, Supt. Reedy writes about National Signing Day and graduation.

Friday, May 1, is College Signing Day. In tribute to the Class of 2020, you may have thrown on an old college t-shirt emblazoned with a Lobo, Aggie, or maybe even a Longhorn (Hook ‘em Horns). There certainly is plenty to celebrate on this day for high school seniors to tell the world what’s next. For many, it will be community college or a state university. Some will stay in town; others will scatter across the nation. They may learn a trade, pursue a degree, serve our country. 

No matter what path they choose, please join me in wishing each and every one of our soon-to-be graduates luck and love as they continue learning, pursuing careers, seeking success, and satisfaction. 

Their future is a bright light in these chaotic times.

If you know a senior whose future isn’t so clear, whose dreams grew blurry when schools closed due to the spread of a highly contagious virus, assure them that it’s not too late to make a plan. It’s not too late to apply for financial aid. It’s not too late to submit a college application. In fact, there may be more opportunities than ever, with many schools extending deadlines and waving grade and entrance exam requirements. And there is plenty of financial aid available, too. Encourage these students to reach out to their high school counselor today. This pandemic may have been an obstacle, but it sure isn’t a barrier. Help them find another way.

We have had to do that a lot these days – find another way to teach, to learn, to support our students, and each other. We have had to find new ways to celebrate our successes, too.

Like graduation. I was really looking forward to my last graduation season before I retired. I love the tradition of commencement with its caps, gowns, and tassels; speeches, handshakes, and hugs; pictures, flowers, and balloons. Maybe, later this summer, if and when the public health order for social distancing is lifted, we will be able to host some version of a ceremony for our graduates. But I doubt it will look like it used to. These are different times.

For now, we are working on another form of senior celebration, a video tribute titled, appropriately, “An Exercise in Preparedness.” Each of our 13 comprehensive and 8 magnet high schools will mix politician and celebrity shout outs (hello Bryan Cranston and Neil Patrick Harris!) with photographs and videos of students. The plan is for all 21 of the high school videos to premiere at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 13, on the APS Graduation website and YouTube. I hope you tune in! I can’t wait.

And speaking of videos, I put together a video message for our graduates on Senior Signing Day. And when I say I put together a video, I mean it. Just like everyone else these days, I am learning new things – like how to record a video of yourself! I included it below. If you haven’t seen it yet, I hope you’ll take a minute to watch. And then reach out to a member of the Class of 2020, give them a virtual pat on the back, and wish them all the best.