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As some of you may know, I graduated from elementary school a few weeks ago.
After three sons and 12 years, my time at Chamisa Elementary, has formally come to an end.
So this week, we gain some insight from the view of the graduating sixth grader.
On May 31, graduation speaker, Anna Lemke captured my interest with her words and then my heart with her perspective of the journey.
This graduation experience was the first time I heard more than one reference to the Assets-Change of Heart program during the pomp and circumstance.
Lemke spoke of the relationships with her fellow classmates and how it translates to welcoming new students to the fold.
“I feel the class of 2013 is unique because of its effort to make others feel welcome,” Lemke said. “We have seen so many children come and go throughout the years. Each time a new student is introduced, there is always at least one person who makes the effort to be their friend. We hope each child that passes by will feel welcomed.”
We as adults need to embrace the same attitude as our youth role models, when it comes to additions to our community, new ideas to the drawing board, changes to our circumstances, or new lessons in our goal of lifelong learning.
“We should truly appreciate everyone that has been an inspiration to us and who has added their own pieces to our education,” Lemke said. “May we all be able to go beyond our limits and attempt the impossible.”
Lemke was nominated for and received the 2013 Pompeo Peace Award.
Edward Pompeo was a former Chamisa dad, who lost his life during a Protection Technology Los Alamos training exercise, while his children were students at Chamisa.
Annually students are nominated for this award, for their demonstration of resolving issues with non-violence and peace making skills, in their educational setting.
“Through her kind words, inclusion of peers, generosity and helpfulness in her interactions with fellow students and staff, Anna’s peaceful spirit permeates and uplifts our Chamisa family,” Colleen Goddard said. “She values others’ ideas and opinions, and supports her classmates in their individual and group endeavors.”
Once again, the youth are teaching us to solve our problems, not with name calling, blame placing and ugly words, but with thoughtfulness, compassion and honest dialogue.
May we all strive to attempt what feels like the impossible and allow, in the words of Goddard, “our spirits to permeate and uplift.”
Thank you Anna and the Chamisa Class of 2013, be careful because 2019 will come way too fast, enjoy the journey and keep your positive attitude for the future.
Finally, some parting words from fellow sixth grader Haley Capon, “Don’t tell me the skies the limit, when there are footprints on the moon.”