Doug Creamer: To the Class of 2018
Students and teachers are excited that school is finally out. I am tired and worn out, but I survived another school year. That was number 33 for me. As of right now, I am planning to go back for number 34. In the meantime, I am looking forward to some rest, reading, and spending some time with my wife.
It is hard to believe that the class of 2018 has spread their wings and flown away. At East Davidson, we are the Golden Eagles, so they literally flew the coop. As I think about it, I am going to miss some of those eaglets. There is the young couple that I am convinced will tie the knot someday. There is the young man who played football and took every one of my classes. There is the young lady who was so excited about DECA this year that she bought a DECA blazer. There is the young man who interned at the realtor’s office. There is the young man who plans to be a doctor. How could I forget the young man who fell into something unpleasant on a farm? There is a young man who gave me a unique nickname. I won’t soon forget the young lady prefers Starburst to chocolate for helping me with a project.
That’s only a few seniors besides underclassmen who have impacted me. The special memories I have as a teacher are better than gold. The DECA trips, class discussions, and the endless interactions are treasures to be kept for a lifetime. I never know the impact I have had on a student, but sometimes I see one of them and the reunion is sweeter than honey.
Graduation at the stadium was especially hot this year. There wasn’t a breeze to be had in the blazing sun. The ceremony went off without a hitch. As usual, the speeches were inspiring. From their speeches I gleaned a few thoughts that I hope will challenge the new eaglets to soar to greater heights.
Don’t doubt your intelligence or your ability to accomplish great things. We live in a world of people who will question your ability to make a difference. Greatness comes in small steps and with the help of others. Everyone who has done something you admire started out at the bottom and worked their way up. Keep fighting and believing in yourself and your dreams.
Endure the losses, weather the storms. No one I know has had a worry-free, stress-free life. There are challenges that you must persevere. The road to greatness is often filled with impediments…your job is to press on until you overcome. There will always be complications and difficult choices… these are the character-defining moments of your life that will shape your destiny.
Life is an adventure. Don’t always look for the easy road. True adventures are found in the twists and turns of life. Be willing to take some chances. Step out on the water; who knows, it might be the first step to walking on the clouds.
Life is filled with choices. We have all made good ones and bad ones. Try to make more good ones. Set good priorities. I can tell a lot about a person by looking in their checkbook. Good priorities aren’t solely about money, but how you spend your time. Family is very important. Choose your friends wisely as you will travel down the road of life with them. Family and friends will help you through the ups and downs of life.
The most important piece of advice I will give you is to connect with God. Let the roots of your life grow deep in the soil of faith. Don’t just go to church; actually build your relationship with God. Jesus paid the ultimate price so you can connect with God. Read your Bible, talk with your Heavenly Father, be an active member of a local church, and find ways to give back to your community. This will make your life rich and full.
I want to encourage graduates to let these words soak in… I believe that God has great plans for your life, plans to bless you and give you hope and a bright future. If you will build everything in your life on and around your relationship with God you will find the bumps and the unforeseen curves in life will only help you grow stronger in your faith. God is good and He loves you more than you can understand. Finally, pass the torch to your children so they will have a bright future filled with hope and love.
Contact Doug at firstname.lastname@example.org