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June 7, 2024


GLPS Families,

I love being an educator, and the work I get to do with students, families, staff, and community every day, but graduation is my favorite day in the school calendar, because it represents everything our students have accomplished, as well as all of the potential for the things they will accomplish. June is a time for celebration, with the end of the school year and a number of other important events to note, but graduation is always the highlight of the school year!

To those ends, tonight at the Breslin Center, we are celebrating our seniors. Graduation is a tremendous milestone in our students’ lives, and ultimately, getting to this moment is what the work we all do, day in and day out, is all about. From the earliest days of pre-K, BK, and kindergarten, through elementary school, Hayes, Beagle, and the high school, our students spend that time learning, growing, and figuring out who they are and who they want to be. Our staff works tirelessly to ensure that students have the skills they need to succeed while they are here learning with us and after they graduate, and you, their families, support them, guide them, and help them navigate school and chart their paths for the future. Community members, friends, extended family, and all of the people with whom they interact along the way help to shape their experiences throughout the system as well, all leading us to tonight. Graduation is the time in which we celebrate the growth that our kids make through the years and the completion of their school experience, and it is also when we wish them well as we send them on their way into the future. 

As we head into the weekend and look ahead to next week and the conclusion of the 2023-2024 school year, it is good to also pause and acknowledge that there are other celebrations for the month of June that are important to our families and community. June is Great Outdoors Month, so make sure you spend some time outside; the weather has been beautiful, and there are a number of parks and outdoor spaces to enjoy around our community! June is also LGBTQIA+ Pride Month and National Caribbean-American Heritage Month, during which we acknowledge and celebrate, respectively, the contributions of members of the LGBTQIA+ community and those with Caribbean-American heritage to our schools, district, and community. In addition, next Friday, June 14th, is Flag Day, which commemorates the adoption of the American flag on June 14th, 1777. The following week, on June 19th, we also celebrate Juneteenth, which is recognized nationally as a celebration of the emancipation of enslaved people in the United States. These are all wonderful celebrations that highlight people and events that are important to our community!

As I write this, I am preparing to head to the Breslin Center for tonight’s commencement ceremony, and I want to say a huge and heartfelt congratulations to the class of 2024. As an alumni myself, I am excited this group is joining the ranks of GLHS alumni, and I can’t wait to see what they accomplish in the world! There are a great many things that make me proud of what we do here, but graduation and all it represents, absolutely makes me #proudtobeacomet! Thank you, as always, for your support and for allowing us to work with you and your children every day, and have a wonderful weekend.

Dr. Bill Barnes
Superintendent of Schools