Dr. C. Richard Canfield, Superintendent of Schools
June 11, 2016
Good morning. As your Superintendent of Schools, it is my distinct pleasure to welcome school and community officials, family and friends as we gather to celebrate and validate the graduation of the Class of 2016. It is also my pleasure to welcome the presence of my successor Dr. Pamela Gould as she accepted an invitation from Dr. Booras and myself to join us in today’s celebration.
Class of 2016, today is your day. We have all gathered here to celebrate the completion of your journey from kindergarten through grade 12. Yesterday, you had the opportunity to travel in cap and gown to the Forestdale and Oak Ridge schools to begin a new tradition for our U-Knighted school system. The teachers there were so pleased to see you as they have been a part of your experience and share in your success. The children were thrilled and inspired by your presence.
Some of your teachers, including kindergarten teachers were in tears as, like your parents, they recalled your very first school day. A day where you felt some anxiety, and some of you may have shed some tears…(from my observation at Forestdale this year, on that first day of school, it happens to moms and dads too).
It reminds me of the lyrics to the song “Over The Rainbow/What a Wonderful World”… “I hear babies cry and I watch them grow, they’ll learn much more than we’ll know, and I say to myself, what a wonderful world.”
And so it is, that time passes and change occurs.
Today, you leave us as young men and women, poised and well prepared for the next phase of your life journey. While this is your day, as you depart the Castle, I will be departing with you, and from my heart to yours, I want to take this moment to thank you for all you have contributed to our schools and our community. I may not have come to know everyone of you personally, but I shall remember the Class of 2016 for all that you have accomplished. You have had numerous successes and you have distinguished yourselves in the classroom, on stage, in our visual art programs, and in our many athletic venues. Yet, I am most proud of you as you show your kindness and compassion for others. It is reflected in your leadership, your community service, and your global awareness and sensitivity, as you consider and debate national and global issues that are vital to all of us. You have done this through International Studies, Model United Nations, and classroom discourse, and you have done this clearly, and concisely while modeling civil discourse.
You have now had 2-years of including our STEM Academy students in the Castle. You have been wonderful mentors and peer leaders to them. In some cases they have helped in your success because you encouraged and welcomed them in combined music, theatre, athletic and club programs. This year, you have some STEM Academy students who have stepped-up to take some high school courses and our programs are better for having done this.
I have been involved with many high schools throughout my 46-year career, and cheered for Panthers, Cardinals, Cavaliers, Tigers, Mustangs, Rams and the list goes on. Here you are part of a proud tradition of being a Sandwich Blue Knight, and it will continue to be the responsibility of all who will follow you here, to uphold the Core Values of Blue Knight Pride, so that you and all alumnae will continue to be proud to say,”I am a Sandwich Blue Knight.”
You have demonstrated that you are “True Blue,” an expression used to describe someone who is loyal, faithful and unwavering to a set of Core Values, and those core values permeate all that you do and will continue to guide your spiritual core throughout your lifetime.
As Blue Knights, may you always be True Blue…a blue-blood representing the honor of Knighthood, and as I depart the Castle with you, know that I have no regrets about my time here. You have been a source of great joy for me and for my wife Lorna. Of all I have had to do here, my greatest pleasure has been the time spent with the Class of 2016…simply and sincerely stated, thank you for letting me be a part of your lives, and from my heart to yours, I wish you and your families the very best.
Thanks to Sandwich Community Television, you can watch the Graduation here: