Resilience is a funny thing. Sometimes we must condition ourselves to withstand the storms of life, and other times our innate sense of survival kicks in to push us further down the road. Before long, goals are met, and the reflection period sets in that allows you to look back on your accomplishments.
The Las Cruces Public Schools graduates in the Class of 2022 are a case study in resilience. Seniors, you are the ones who left school as freshmen and didn't step foot on campus again until your junior year. In between that, you managed to maintain your schoolwork, athletics or activities, your health, personal commitments to your families or maybe a job, and you succeeded. You are the class that gets to sit on the gridiron at the Field of Dreams, maskless among your friends (if you want to, no judgment if you don't), with your entire family in the crowd watching the culmination of the world's unpredictable circumstances and your resilience to it all. The road you traveled to get there was not the nice, paved superhighway of years past, and it wasn't the bumpy backroad that ended in a unique drive-through graduation for the Class of 2020 - or the in-person graduation the Class of 2021 received under restrictive public health orders.
As you cross the stage next week, I pray you remember the lessons these last few years taught us all:
Be kind. These last few school years you spent at LCPS have often been punctuated with high-tension, passionate points of view, both on a national front and right here closer to home. Respect people’s perspectives and what they believe in, use kind words and presume positive intentions. Sometimes we can meet in the middle, and everyone is better for it.
Be patient. It's not always a race to get to the finish line, but a careful and calculated journey toward where you want to be. If at first you don’t succeed, or your destination wasn’t what you hoped for, don’t be afraid to regroup and start over. Some of our best lessons in life come from second – and third – chances.
Be fearlessly original. These words were first coined by the late Jed Hendee when talking about one of his graduates from the Class of 2014 at Las Cruces High School. In a world where you can be anything, make sure you are yourself. No one else can do it better than you.
Be proud. You are a graduate of Las Cruces Public Schools, and no matter what color your cap and gown are, or what your school mascot was, your cheering section at the Dr. Karen M. Trujillo Administration Complex had your back these last three years, and we worked tirelessly to make sure you had the best experience a public school system could offer.
Congratulations, Class of 2022. Your accomplishments are to be commended, but your resilience is what we will remember you for.
Ralph Ramos is the superintendent of schools at Las Cruces Public Schools.