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The La Grande Observer Paper 08/27/14

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Home arrow Opinion arrow Our View arrow OUR VIEW: Graduates move on to next stage

OUR VIEW: Graduates move on to next stage

Caring teachers. Challenging, competitive public schools. Commitment to excellence.

All play a role as hundreds of local graduates cross stages and receive diplomas at high schools across the region and Eastern Oregon University this May and June. It’s the culmination of 12 or 16 or more years of hard work, sacrifice and exceptional learning opportunities.

Graduation wisdom is abundant, and graduation speeches can be inspiring or snooze-inducing. Here are a few of our livelier favorites.

The late American entrepreneur and inventor Steve Jobs: “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”

Host and creator of the TV show “America’s Most Wanted” John Walsh: “Do one thing at a time. Give each experience all your attention.”

The late Ohio State University football coach Woody Hayes, known for his volcanic temper but still at times a fountain of wisdom: “You’ll find out that nothing that comes easy is worth a dime.”

The take-away message from these speakers is, each graduate can make a difference in the future. Schools ideally unlock students’ talents and help them gain a passion for lifelong learning.

As we celebrate with the graduates in the weeks to come, it’s important to remember that education is an investment in the future. An education investment now saves higher costs later.

Rigorous, challenging high school courses predict college success. Rigorous, challenging college courses predict success in life.

Also predicting educational success is the family component. Caring, effective teachers, of course, are critical. However, the best teacher in the world can’t overcome a negative home environment.

Educational opportunities abound not just in school but for the rest of life. That’s particularly important now as technology changes at a rapid pace, and lifelong learning is not just an option but a must for success in a dynamic global economy.

Education equals power. A quality education equals economic opportunity.

It’s important as graduates move on to their next challenges that we reverse disinvestment in education and give it the priority it deserves.


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