Dear Catholic school graduates,
In my greeting, I intentionally refer to you as "Catholic" graduates because I want to emphasize the role of faith throughout your educational experience in our Catholic schools. Regardless of whether you are Catholic or a member of another denomination, faith was a vital part of your education.
You don't need me to point out that your graduation year has been full of unforeseen challenges that none of us could ever have imagined when you started school in September. You and your families have been living these challenges every day for months now. I'm sure that you have feelings of disappointment that the traditional events usually planned in our schools for the final months of the school year cannot take place. Of course the absence of the pomp and circumstance of the graduation ceremony and the family parties of celebration are particularly missed.
Though there certainly are disappointments, the crisis you are experiencing this year has also become a part (if unwelcome) of your education. You have learned and we as adults have been reminded how fragile life truly is. We all get so busy living life it is easy to forget that we are not really in control of all that can affect us. The crisis caused us to all pause in our daily lives and hopefully reflect on what is important - our faith, our families and our health. If we value these, the years ahead will see us through whatever lies ahead. Unexpectedly, each of you has had to grow up just a little faster this year. You are wiser for it and what you have learned will make the world a little better for all of us. I expect great things from the Class of 2020 for you truly know what is important and that is the best education anyone could ever have.
Congratulations Class of 2020!
Dr. Michael C. LaFever
Superintendent of Catholic Schools for Western New York