Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Wrap up: Graduation 2010 with Special Guest Barack Obama

No matter what your political views, you've got to admit that having the president of the United States speak at your graduation in pretty dang amazing. Also, having the president honor students you've taught feels pretty dang amazing too. So, this is a non-partisan, non-political presidential picture post. There. I've used alliteration. So don't come at me reckless. 

Waiting to get in:

Media craziness:

This is the media getting their camera bags checked by security. 
They had people and dogs going through everything.

Once we got in, we had to wait for 3 hours, so we killed time chit-chatting and taking pictures...
My cute and supportive hubby.

One of my amazing colleagues.

The staff hanging out and waiting to escort the graduates out... I LOVE working with these people. They help make my job amazing. 

Oh yes, I forgot to mention that while we were waiting around, our precious graduates (and my first graduating class of freshman) were doing this:
EXCLUSIVE - President Obama Surprises Winners of Commencement Challenge - Kalamazoo Central High School from Get Schooled on Vimeo.

I seriously burst with pride when I watch this. This was a life changing experience for them. 

Once we escorted the kids out to the arena, it was time for the big moment:

This picture looks fake, but I took it with my camera. 
Crazy that they would let someone with my opinions on education and public schooling get so close. ;)

Our principal was glowing:

Valedictorian Cindy Lee:

Salutatorian Simon Boehme: 

And of course, the commencement speaker, Obama:
My favorite part of his speech? "I thought hard work, responsibility, that’s old-fashioned.  That’s just people want to tell me what to do. But after a few years, after I was living solely on my own and I realized that living solely for my own entertainment wasn’t so entertaining anymore, that it wasn’t particularly satisfying anymore, that I didn’t seem to be making much of a ripple in the world, I started to change my tune.  I realized that by refusing to apply myself, there was nothing I could point to that I was proud of that would last." I think this applies to many, many students all over the world. I wish some of them would realize this sooner.

There is a lot more I could write about... the medical emergencies in the audience. The poor now media-butchered sleeping kid who appeared in almost every one of my pictures because of where I was sitting:

But it wasn't about all of that. It was about our fabulous class of 2010 graduates:
Every year since freshman year, my girls and I take a picture on the last day of school. 
This was their last one.

Obama was in the receiving line as they formally became graduates.

One of my girls with her beautiful mother getting some time in the spotlight.

A former Diversity Awareness and Leadership Training participant and all around funny kid being interviewed. 

Three more of my former freshman. I'm so proud!

That's all I've got. 

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