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2022 CHEC Commencement Booklet

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1200 First Street, NE | Washington, DC 20002 | T 202.442.5885 | F 202.442.5026 | www.dcps.dc.gov June 2022 Dear Graduate, On behalf of the entire DC Public Schools community, congratulations on your graduation! This diploma is the culmination of your hard work and dedication to your studies. I am proud of what you accomplished, and I hope that you and your family take the time to step back and celebrate this milestone. Your high school experience has been shaped by the COVID-19 pandemic, but you persevered, completed your high school education, and are now a DCPS graduate! I hope you will reflect on the opportunities you had throughout your high school journey and acknowledge the challenges that you overcame with persistence and integrity. Whether you are continuing your education through a career certificate program or a bachelor's degree, entering the military or an apprenticeship program, or moving directly into a career, always remember to take time to explore your interests and know they may take you in unexpected directions. I entered college as a biology major, and my career plans were upended when I volunteered at an elementary school and realized the joy of teaching a young person to read. After more than 20 years in my career, I still consider myself a teacher first and feel fortunate to have the opportunity to support your success every day. Whatever the future holds, you should be confident that your hard work has given you the tools you need to succeed in college, career, and life. Take a moment to consider who stood with you when you celebrated your achievements and who lifted you up in moments of struggle, whether they be family, friends, teachers, or other members of your community. Thank them for the role that they played in your success. It is my hope that your accomplishments will set a high bar for the students who come after you to achieve their goals for college and career. The road ahead will continue to have milestones and challenges but know that the DCPS community is here to support you and we are rooting for your success. Congratulations again, and we cannot wait to see all that you accomplish as alumni of DCPS. Sincerely, Lewis D. Ferebee, Ed.D. Chancellor, DC Public Schools

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1200 First Street, NE | Washington, DC 20002 | T 202.442.5885 | F 202.442.5026 | dcps.dc.gov Drewana Bey, Ed.D Chief, Office of Secondary Schools June 2022 Dear Class of 2022, Congratulations Class of 2022! The day that we all have been waiting for is finally here. The four years that have led to this moment in time have been nothing short of phenomenal. From having the end of your sophomore year interrupted by COVID, to an entire year of virtual learning as a Junior, to now a full year of in-person learning as a Senior, you have shown a level of perseverance and fortitude that many may not have been able to endure. Not only did you meet the target, YOU raised the bar for the graduates that will come behind you for years to come. As you continue your journey, I challenge you to always work hard, play harder, and love the hardest. These actions will support your growth into the highest version of yourself, while profoundly impacting the lives of the individuals around you. “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.” (Tim Notke) You have heard of the importance of hard work from the moment you started school. Guess what? It is still true. Hard work gets you further than any natural talent or attribute that you may possess. Running your own race, the hardest you can, will pay many rewards and lead to unlimited success. “Do what you have to do until you can do what you want to do.” (Oprah Winfrey) Sometimes there will be smaller steps that you will take to realize and live your full passion. Those steps may not be what you want to do in the moment, but they will pave the way to get you where you want to go. Learn from every step and always celebrate your progress. You are your biggest cheerleader! “Love like there’s no tomorrow, and if tomorrow comes, love again.” (Max Lucado) Love is the answer to every question you have in life. Period. Spread it as often, and as wide as you can throughout your days. It will return to you one thousand-fold. And if the last few years have taught us anything, they have taught us that our days may be short, but our love for each other is everlasting. Graduates, you are truly the pride of the District of Columbia Public Schools and we look forward to seeing great things in your future. Well wishes, Dr. Drewana Bey Chief, Office of Secondary Schools

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1200 First Street, NE | Washington, DC 20002 | T 202.442.5885 | F 202.442.5026 | dcps.dc.gov June 2022 Graduates: My deepest and most heartfelt congratulations on your graduation from DCPS. We’re not in the business of comparing graduations, but I am willing to suggest that there has not been a more difficult and demanding journey than yours. You have had paused school years, remote school years, hybrid school years, masks, testing, quarantines, and more. Through it all, you stand, and have reached this special moment in your life. While it is still just a piece of paper, there’s a story in your diploma. It’s a story of persevering through racism and living amidst injustice inside our communities, city, and country. On its own that could’ve broken you. You lived through a contentious election and the failure of a sacred American tradition- the peaceful transfer of power. Then Covid struck, and again, and again, new variants, new vaccinations, so many lives lost, and that certainly could have broken you. And you each have had your own struggles, perhaps only known to you, your family, a trusted teacher or friend. And even those could not keep you from this day. So you’ve disqualified yourself from ever saying, “I can’t,” or “That’s too difficult.” Give yourself space and grace for tough times, as they will come. But also, be honest with yourself. If you were weak, you wouldn’t be here. If you lacked will and belief we would know by now. And if you were meant for something less than your wildest dreams you would still be asleep. But you chose to wake, to work, to commit, and to reflect. Doubt may visit you; it just can’t stay. I’m so proud to have been on this journey with you, and I remain in your service. My eternal thanks for your efforts and fellowship. Sincerely, Jerry Jellig Dr. Jerry Jellig Instructional Superintendent, Cluster 10

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