"But if it is believed that these elementary schools will be better managed by...any other general authority of the government, than by the parents within each ward [district], it is a belief against all experience." --Thomas Jefferson

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Invictus: Unconquered

I had the great opportunity to attend two graduation ceremonies this past week.  I am excited for the Class of 2012!!

The first graduation was for Lone Peak High School.  There were approximately 600 graduates, and Lone Peak has performed phenomenally in sports, music, academics, etc.  The parental involvement is very high.  The kids are wonderful!  It brought back fond memories of my high school and the great friendships I developed (and still cherish).  I envy those students of Lone Peak, and, in fleeting moments, yearn to return to those wonderful high school years. 

The second was for Summit High School.  Until I became a member of the board, I was unaware of Summit High.  Because of this, I'd like to give you a little more information.  When we think of high school, most of us will think of our fun, unruly, and exciting experiences.  Lone Peak reflects those memories most closely for the vast majority of us. 

In contrast, Summit High is there to serve "students who are in the custody of the State of Utah for reasons of neglect or delinquency and non-custody students who are at-risk of educational failure....A positive relationship with each student is the first order of business."  There were 31 graduates who overcame very difficult circumstances: homelessness, addiction, abuse, neglect.  The road has been very difficult for them, and yet, they have not given in.  Instead, they have achieved greatness.  One graduate shared the poem, "The Race", which says: "all you have to do to win is rise each time you fall."  This concept these students have had to learn repeatedly.  Instead of a traditional band or orchestra, Summit has a wonderful rock band, Invictus.  If you ever get to hear them perform, I'd take advantage of the opportunity.  We heard one of the best renditions of Pachelbel's Cannon in D, as well as What a Wonderful World.  The faculty and staff are very devoted to their students, and the students are, as well, to them.  This year, the faculty (and some private organizations) donated enough money to give a total of $55,500 to be split between the 31 graduates, allowing them each to attend college or a vocational school of their choosing.   I was impressed with the caliber of the students, who have risen above so much, as well as their mentors and friends that they found in the faculty of Summit High.

Each Summit graduate must memorize the poem, Invictus, which means, "unconquered".

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

--William Ernest Henley
May we each be the master of our fate and the captain of our soul.

1 comment:

  1. Cool poem. Thanks for your work and keeping us informed Wendy.