On Friday evening, the youths returned these nuggets of knowledge to Justin Crittenden, principal of Skidmore-Tynan High School, during their graduation ceremony at Bobcat Stadium.
The nuggets were colorful pieces of plastic shaped as rough jewels, and as each student walking the stage shook Crittenden’s hand, they slipped them in his palm.
A simple gesture with profound meaning to this principal.
“I guess they wanted me to remember them and get a tropical fish,” he simply said.
Just knowing that the students wanted him to remember them and what they meant to them meant the world.
“I loved this senior class; I was close to a lot of these kids,” he said.
“When you connect with kids, and they consider you a friend after they graduate, that’s what it is all about.”
This is Crittenden’s last year at Skidmore-Tynan.
He is moving up to the hill country. His replacement comes from Pawnee—Hank Looney, Pawnee school principal.
The students, including the two top ranking youths of the graduating class, offered their thanks to all those at Skidmore-Tynan ISD.
Valedictorian Haley Scott said, “I truly believe that God puts particular people in our lives for a reason, for us to learn from their successes and failures or for them to learn from us.
“Now, on behalf of my entire class, I would like to thank all of the teachers, coaches and administrators at Skidmore-Tynan ISD.
“They are truly responsible for every individual walking the stage today.”
Each graduate there has their own aspiration for the future—their own dream of what will be.
“We all have different dreams and different goals, but what we learned here at Skidmore-Tynan, academically or extracurricularly, have prepared us for our different futures,” Scott said. “Graduation marks the beginning of a new chapter, a new transition.”
As Salutatorian Cameron Pace points out, “Situations in our lives aren’t always what we want them to be or think they should be, but through experience I have learned to take each trial as it comes our way and learn what I can from it.”
Both of these students shared similar words of inspiration.
Pace summed up the advice saying “Stay true to who you are, be honest, work hard, never lose sight of your goals, and always remember that you are the only person that can make things happen in your life.
“Never expect others to do for you what you’re capable of doing yourself.”
Jason Collins is the editor at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 121, or at editor@mySouTex.com.