8/2/2019 End of School Year Speech
End of school year is a time to reflect and celebrate. This is the time of year we look back
and see how different events changed us, it is the time to review our accomplishments and
make plans for the year to come.
It is hard to believe that we are already at the end of another school year. I guess the older
we get, the faster the time flies . As we close out this current school year and think aboutthe next we should keep in mind what W.E.B. Du Bois wrote in The Freedom To Learn:
Of all the civil rights for which the world has struggled and fought for 5,000 years, the
right to learn is undoubtedly the most fundamental -- The freedom to learn -- has beenbought by bitter sacrifice. And whatever we may think of the curtailment of other civil
rights, we should fight to the last ditch to keep open the right to learn, the right to have
examined in our schools not only what we believe, but what we do not believe; not onlywhat our leaders say, but what the leaders of other groups and nations, and the leaders of
other centuries have said. We must insist upon this to give our children the fairness of a
start which will equip them with such an array of facts and such an attitude toward truththat they can have a real chance to judge what the world is and what its greater minds have
thought it might be.
The right to learn is a privilege that many children cannot enjoy. As many of you know Icome from Romania, a great country, but a poor one. There are a lot of children there who
simply cannot afford to go to school. Smart children, hard working ones who cannot enjoy
the advantage of writing a letter or reading a book just because they were born poor.
But, to all this, there is good news too: students today have navigated their way through
issues, demands, temptations and decisions that yesterdays students never evencontemplated. I think about what didnt even exist when I started kindergarten. I think
about the changes in education, society and culture that have taken place. Through all of
this we have been successful and I left prepared, excited and confident that I will be able tomake a difference in the world. And maybe, just maybe, one day, all children will be ableto get an education.
It seems like yesterday when I got out of bed to attend classes at my old high school backin Romania. I get all nostalgic when I think that no longer will I see the same familiar faces
every morning at 7 AM, nor will I have to impatiently wait for the classes to end so that we
can catch a long waited new released movie at the theater. I imagine that some of myfriendships will fade as well, but I think we will surprise ourselves with how many can
stand the test of time. Im sure there are friendships among us, which have already proven
that these past 10 years are merely the beginning of a life-long bond. But no matter if we
go to school together or if we are able to keep in touch, we will all share in the same greatmemories of our years together at Petru Rares. I am fortunate today to be given the chance
to relieve a handful of these incredible and life-changing emotions I experienced in my last
days at Petru Rares High School. For all my fellow classmates there, if you could hearmeI love you guys and Ill never forget you!
I came to this school just two days before the spring break. I didnt know what to expect. Ididnt know if I would be welcomed or looked at like an outsider.
8/2/2019 End of School Year Speech
Building a relationship is especially hard when you come from a different background, but
it is especially critical because you do not have the luxury of choosing who your teachersor colleagues will be and whether they will like you or not. Which one will I be?
Will I be the geek, the inadaptat who gets laughed at or will I be the cool foreign girl
envied by all others?
I chose to be myself. I dont stand out in a crowd, Im not the prettiest nor the smartest, Im
just a regular person going through the phases of adaptation to a new system, to a new wayof life.
Much for my surprise I was welcomed with open arms, I was offered help and
understanding. I felt like I belonged here. I felt like, again, I could make friendships thatlasted a lifetime.
I cannot describe my feelings better than Linda Darling-Hammond did in her book The
Right to Learn: The schools we envision are exciting places: thoughtful, reflective,engaging and engaged. They are places where meaning is made. They are places that
resemble workshops, studios, galleries, theatres, studies, laboratories, field research sites,and newsrooms. The students in these schools feel supported in taking risks and thinking
independently. They are engaged in initiating and assessing their ideas and products,
developing a disciplined respect for their own work and the work of others. Their teachersfunction more like coaches, mentors, wise advisors, and guides than as information
transmitters or gatekeepers. They offer high standards with high levels of support, creating
a bridge between challenging curriculum goals and students unique needs, talents, and
learning styles. They are continually learning because they teach in schools whereeveryone would be glad to be a student, or a teacher -- where everyone would want to be --
and could be both.
Overall, all I can say is that even if Ive only been here, in this school for three months it
was time well spent. Ive learned a lot of new things and I made a lot of new friends. And
to everybody that made the transition easier, students and children, Id like to say: THANKYOU!