Congratulations class of 2014
Wisconsin’s graduates take many diverse paths. Some enter the workforce or join the military, but most continue their education at two- or four-year colleges or universities. In fact, recent data shows more Wisconsin students are seeking to continue their education immediately after completing high school. This trend runs counter to that of the nation and demonstrates the desire Wisconsin graduates have to further their education.
Yet despite the different routes graduates take after high school, they will forever share a common experience — the strong educational foundation they received.
Students are exposed to a variety of challenges, sometimes in schools or simply through life events. When students encountered these obstacles, they had the help of families and educators to lead them along and teach valuable lessons. As they begin the next stage of their lives, new difficulties will undoubtedly arise. The skills they have learned from teachers, administrators, support staff and parents will prove invaluable to them.
I have the opportunity as state superintendent to visit schools across Wisconsin. I interact with students with different backgrounds, but the foundation of skills that help our graduates succeed is something they all share.
And while every graduate does not possess identical skills or life experiences, the quality education they received prepared them in the best possible way to succeed. Whether our graduates follow in the footsteps of Wisconsin high school alumna Marissa Mayer, chief executive officer of Yahoo, or alumnus Tony Shalhoub, a multiple Emmy award-winning actor, their education will be an essential element to their success.
So graduates, if you have not done so yet, take time to reflect on the education you received, and think about the people who guided you along the way. Before you move on to the next chapter of your life, thank them for getting you to where you are now. Always remember the skills these people taught you and use them to reach your dreams while giving back to others and our communities.
Tony Evers is state superintendent of public instruction.