A lifetime of hugs

My first, and only, Graduation Ceremony with the Fulton Secondary Community happened last night. I am on the move next year and it has been an amazing year at Fulton/Vernon Community School working with such a dedicated group of staff who care deeply about their students. My speech to the Fulton Grad Class of 2018.

Good Evening Grads, Grad Families, Special Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen.

My name is Bryan Out, Son of Case and Bev born in Vernon; grown in Armstrong; Brother of Gary, Husband of Courtney, Dad of Maya and Emmett, learner, supporter of growth, principal. Grads, my first question for you is how do you introduce yourself today, how do you want to introduce yourself in 5 years, 10 years, 25 years?

I am very honoured to be here tonight as the proud principal of Fulton Secondary as we recognize the accomplishment of these fine young ladies and gentlemen, our grads of 2018. Thank you to our Fulton families and school community who have supported and cared for these grads during their 13 years of schooling. Grads, please make sure to say thank you to those folks you supported you on your journey to graduation.

As grads I am sure you have heard many pieces of advice and so-called wisdom over the years from a variety of different folks and when it comes to providing such info I will try to keep it brief.  So I am only going to give you one word as a piece of advice. HUG.  Why hug? Good question. Here is the why

A 3 letter word with each letter representing one word – I thought that would be easy to remember.  So the letters,

H – it could stand for many different words: helpful, honest, humble but I am going to go with Humour. Life is going to have its celebrations and its difficult times – in either case – don’t lose your sense of humour. Laughing is powerful and the old adage “Laughter is the best medicine” holds true. If you had your phones up here with you I would get you to look it up.

U – is for understanding. You need to understand each other’s unique needs and accept and respect differences in beliefs, values, ethnicities and religions. Listen first, speak second – and when trying to understand ask questions.  While it is important to understand others uniqueness it is of more importance to understand your self – what do you value? What do you believe in? These things may change over time, but know what they are as they will guide you to decisions that will be true to you and lead to happiness.

G – is for generosity. To give generously is good for others and for yourself. And to give doesn’t necessarily mean give money – it could mean being generous with your time, or generous with your knowledge – there are many ways to give to others, the must do is to give generously.

During your 13 years of education you have had stressful days and your stressful days will continue once you are out of Fulton.  The question is what to do on those stressful days to make the most of them.  Here are a few suggestions from Dani DiPirro, author of the Positively Present blog:

  • Celebrate what’s working
  • Write about how you feel
  • Take a time out – even for a few minutes
  • Go outside for a walk
  • Trash negative thoughts
  • Slow down
  • Don’t overbook yourself
  • Compliment yourself
  • Consider how you’re lucky
  • Be your own cheerleader
  • Tell someone “I love you”

Grads, each of you is unique and has a skill set that can lead to great things.  Be proud of who you are and where you are from.  I wish each and every one of you much success and happiness in the future – you all deserve it!

As you leave the Fulton nest – I wish you a life full of hugs.

Congratulations to the grad class of 2018 – a job well done!

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