Ann Cooley’s Letter to Senirs

Dear Class of 2019,

It’s here: graduation!  Some of you are ending high school with your best year yet.  Others have really had to battle and claw your way to the finish.  Either way, you’re here! And I feel so privileged to have had a front-row seat for the journey.

The first time you impressed me was when 60 of you wrote goals for your second semester of freshman year.  I distinctly remember being struck by the character revealed to me by those goals: I want to be a kinder person, I want to work harder and not give-up just because it’s difficult, I want to be a better listener.  Not the goals I was accustomed to reading from freshmen. However, as I watch you now as seniors, it’s obvious those goals were not just words.  I’ve seen you take on hard things, engage in uncomfortable but brave conversations, challenge your own thinking through research and reflection—and by listening to stories that take you outside your own!  

And now you stand on the cusp of “adulthood.” I have no doubt that you will find immense adventure, joy, inspiration, insight, and…yes…even heartbreak in the years ahead.  I also know that even the heartbreak will help you become stronger, kinder, more authentic people because I’ve already seen that demonstrated many times. I’m excited for you and so very proud…because I know that the world needs more people like you.  More honesty. More listening. More perseverance. More beauty. More courage.

You have already brought that to Las Lomas for four years.  I’m grateful for that. And now you get to bring it to the world.  Writer Shauna Niequist claims “that the best thing [we] can offer this world . . . [is] a well-tended spirit, [and] a wise and brave soul.”  I think I agree, and I think you are well on your way.

Love Always, Mrs. Cooley