A letter to my son and the Class of 2015
Dear Jake and Class of 2015,
Difficult to define, impossible to forget.
That is how I will hold you in my mind.
Scholars, musicians, artists, athletes, politicians, and activists – you are so unique no one label will do.
Alex Myers, Lauren Schroer, and Alex Sganga who were our National Merit Finalists. Maddie Poole who had her self-portrait displayed in Washington, D.C. Zak Kaddish who literally ran the city of Loveland one evening.
You all are the very definition of what we mean when we say: Many stripes, One Tiger.
From the first day of kindergarten to the final day of your senior year I have watched you grow; I have shared in so many of the moments that make up your life.
My hope for you as you leave Loveland High School is for you to continually embrace each moment that is to come, when I am no longer standing right by your side.
Embrace the moments of love and friendship. Often we are so busy in our lives that we forget to see the love and friendship that surrounds us. I encourage you to make time to spend with your family and friends. No matter where you go or what you do there are always people who love you. As you spend time together, focus on the moment. Those are the moments that matter.
Embrace the moments of challenge and adversity. Not all moments are easy. There will be times where things do not go as planned. Don’t be afraid. You can get through it. There will be challenges that seem impossible, but if you embrace the moment and look for a solution you will persevere. Ask for help if you need it, you do not always have to solve it alone. There are people who care. Sometimes you will face adversity, things that you thought would never happen. When this happens take the first step to the road to recovery, and keep walking. You will not only see the moment through – you will also be stronger for it.
Embrace the moments of joy and celebration. There will be many moments in your life that will produce joy and celebration. Joy is a feeling of overwhelming happiness that can sometimes even bring you to tears. The feeling of joy often comes with a celebration. Revel in these rare, powerful moments of joy, and carry them with you.
You have a reason to celebrate.
You have earned your high school diploma. You have worked 13 years to get to this end. An end, which is really only a new beginning. But, before you pack your bags… before you walk toward your future, take the time to stop and really celebrate how far you have already come.
This is your moment, enjoy it.
And, perhaps more than anything – as your superintendent, and, Jake, as your father – I want to say thank you, for sharing it all with me.
I am forever proud.
As you leave, I have one final message to send with you. For years, I watched you and your friends save the world… on X-Box. Now is the moment to go save the world, for real.
I will miss you.
Photo caption: Superintendent Chad Hilliker with his family, including sons Jake and Joe, daughter Ellie and wife Lisa.
Posted June 9, 2015