Time flies when you are having fun — or when you’re just in high school. It seems like only yesterday that a new group of 9th graders descended upon the Fairmont Preparatory Academy campus to begin their high school careers. And yet, last Thursday, that “new” group of students concluded their time at Fairmont with the Class of 2018 graduation ceremony. Seniors came in their graduation gowns, surrounded by family and friends, all joined together to celebrate not only the accomplishment of completing high school but also of successes yet to come.
Then there are those moments when it feels more “real.” When “Pomp and Circumstance” begins to play, when the valedictorian gives his or her speech, and ultimately when the students’ names are called, and they walk across the stage and are handed their diplomas. What a great moment for each student and his or her family members to see that accomplishment.
Headmaster Bobby Mendoza encouraged the students to continue to use their grit out there as they head off to college and beyond. There is no question that many of our students have a great amount of talent and natural ability, yet Mr. Mendoza hit on the thing that really sets Fairmont students apart, and that is that grit and determination to do well in all aspects of their lives. He also helped to remind them that not all things will come easily and that one of the best predictors of success is how students rebound from missteps in their lives.
The Class of 2018 was also the first graduating class of students who have completed four years of the International Business Program. The experiences that this cohort of students has had from speakers, field trips, internships, and — of course — classes have set them up perfectly for undergraduate business programs.
But the real joy comes at the end of the ceremony as the students toss their mortarboards into the air and realize that their time at Fairmont has really concluded. It is a mix of relief, amazement, and an understanding that this part is all over. Family and friends line up for the first picture of the recent graduate, smiles all around. Students grab friends for group photos as teachers wander by to offer their congratulations. It’s the most bittersweet moment at Fairmont as we both celebrate and reflect upon that graduating class.
We then take in the quiet moments of the summer and get ready to do it all again. We are eager to welcome the Class of 2022 to campus and prepare to say goodbye to the Class of 2019. We hope that all of our students and their families take these moments to reconnect, recharge, and recommit themselves to demonstrating that grit that Mr. Mendoza spoke of earlier.