Letter to Senior Parents

Dear Senior Parents,

Over the last few weeks, I have had the privilege of attending brief ceremonies in our cafeteria where several seniors signed agreements with excellent colleges to play on college teams. We do this in a public setting because it is truly something special AND because it gives these students an opportunity to thank those who have been helpful to them throughout high school. Of course, they mention their coaches and ALWAYS look at and thank their parents: “Thank you mom and dad for supporting me through my school career and for attending every game I’ve played at Staples.”

In late April, we will host our annual High Honors Dinner at which sixteen seniors will be presented by teachers with whom they have developed a strong relationship. Each student will then say a few words and they ALWAYS look at their parents and thank them for their support throughout their school years.

These are public, formal school events for just a few of our seniors. ALL seniors, if given the opportunity at a public event, would look you in the eyes and thank you for all you have done to support them, for helping them make good decisions, and for coming to their concerts, plays, art exhibits, etc. Now, unfortunately, it is time for you to prepare yourself for this very special part of family life to draw to a close. For those of you with only one child or if this is your last child to graduate, it is going to be more emotional than you may expect. Having said goodbye to thousands of seniors over the years, I know of what I speak.

When you get a moment to have some quiet time to yourself, think about the day you brought your child to the bus stop or to school on the first day of kindergarten. Look at some photos of what she/he looked like back then and compare that to what she/he looks like now. Think of all of the school events you went to, the tears you wiped away from their faces when they skinned a knee or lost a game or weren’t asked to come to a birthday party. There are so many times when you were there to hug your child and offer the love and support that ONLY a parent can provide. They are treasured memories.

Soon, you will say goodbye to your child as she/he heads off in another direction. Most will begin living on a college campus. Some will throw a duffle bag over their shoulders and head off to boot camp, and a few will decide to go to work and then find a place to live starting an independent life of their own. There is no way to replicate the high school experience, but it is the natural order of things for these kids to find their place in the world as adults.

It has been a pleasure to watch your child grow up before my eyes. Your daughter/son is a member of a wonderful senior class. This class has set the tone for the entire school and has met my/our expectations all along the way. I know Mr. Micinilio and I share the same sense of impending loss. We hate the thought of seeing them leave, but leave they must.

I look forward to seeing you all at Baccalaureate and at the graduation ceremony.

John Dodig