As the parent of a 2013 high school graduate, I approach the ending of the school year in a joyous yet melancholy kind of way. Every milestone my son hit this year has come with elation attached to subdued realizations. Years of watching him burn the midnight oil while working on homework assignments and then witnessing the dedication to his sporting events will soon end. To be sure, the growth of a child is a wonderful event.
This past Friday evening was senior night for the RCHS baseball team. The celebration honored 10 young men, individually and as a team. Watching the boys on the field that evening, I could not help but to notice a boyish charm about their enthusiasm yet they are nearly full-grown men. Since most of the boys have played baseball together since they were in Little League, there were moments when I flashbacked to the days when their learning of the game was sometimes an amusing experience because the serious nature of the game had not yet been implanted into their young minds. Sitting down in the outfield or goofing off while standing guard at base comes to mind. On this night though, things were much different. The boys have grown and matured into fine young men who value their place on the big team as a Rushville Lion.
Lion pride is not likely an idea that really sinks into the mind of a high school student while he or she is completing a homework assignment, attending a sport practice, or perfecting an instrumental or a vocal pitch. However, when everything accumulates at the end, this is exactly what our students give to the community, a sense of pride.
With pride, we can send off graduating seniors who have dedicated themselves to study and thus portray our school system as a strong one. With pride, we can attend RCHS sporting events and allow the attitude of our athletes to portray our school system as one that instills a sense of ethics in our young people. With pride, we can witness the musical talents of our choir and band members, the abilities of our theatrical or communications students who devote extra time to these activities and in turn portray our school system as one that values the diversity of an entire student body.
Our school system may not be as large as others are and may not have as many funds to offer the widest range of course selections as other school systems but with what we do have, we can produce fine well-rounded students ready to enter the adult world. We have the resources to prep them for higher academic studies but more than that, we have the culture that instills a sense of pride in what you do and what you accomplish. The culture of our school system promotes many great qualities that our students will need for the future, integrity perhaps being at the top.
Parents need to be involved in and supportive of the culture of our school system and of what our community as a whole desires. The return on the involvement will one day show when you see your son or daughter succeed at what he or she set out to do. The opportunity for accomplishment and personal excellence lurks in many places and so there is a spot for any student to find. It might be in the classroom, the athletic arena, the drama department, the communications department, the band or choir room, or in any one of the clubs available to students at RCHS.
My digression from thoughts that began at Friday evening’s baseball game is not too far out of line here. When a parent looks from afar at his or her son or daughter, such as was the case while watching my son on the baseball field, many things can come to mind. This game signified the last home sporting event my son will participate in during his high school career. I value his sense of pride in what he does and the ethics involved while doing it. I also value and embrace my fortune at having been able to witness his growth throughout his school years. It has been a wonderful and joyous experience and even if at times chaos abound, I, like many parents, am sad to see these moments end.
Congratulations to the class of 2013. As you go out into the world, keep the values of your upbringing close at heart. You represent our school system and our community as much as you represent yourself. Good luck to all.