RESTAINO: “Congratulations to Our Graduates”

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By: Robert M. Restaino

Mayor of Niagara Falls

Congratulations on your achievement. I had hoped to deliver these comments to you at the time of your graduating ceremony on June 27; however, I understand that programming and scheduling were difficult, and I was not a part of the program. Nevertheless, I am pleased to send you these brief remarks in this matter.

As you start on the next phase of life, it is important to remember everything that you have done that prepares you for the road ahead. Certainly, the lessons and classes in which you participated during your high school years have given you the “technical” tools to move forward in your chosen path, the teachers and staff that have guided you have provided a framework for your success. The friendships and relationships you have developed over these years have helped you shape who you are; what you view of the world is; and where you see yourself in that world.

Clearly you have gone through a development over these high school years that is both remarkable and yet predictable as it happens with incredible regularity, year after year, graduating class after graduating class. Each year sending out a new group of trade workers, office staff, entrepreneurs, doctors, lawyers, etc. All ready to take on the challenges of building a future and contributing to the community. While your graduating class will be all of those things, the Class of 2020 is so much more.

 

Mayor Robert M. Restaino.

 

Nearly two-thirds of the way through the school year everything stopped. No in-school classes. No Class Day. No Prom. District officials had to scramble to develop a method to continue instructing; and due to public health concerns, all school athletics and school social activities were cancelled. There was even a concern for how (or if) a graduation “ceremony” would occur. In this incredibly difficult, unusual, unpredicted moment the Class of 2020 showed something special. Adapting to “virtual classrooms” and school at home, athletes staying fit by doing in-homes drills and exercises and having a city-wide motorcade to celebrate the end of the school year. The Class of 2020 accepted the challenge of a difficult time; and rather than whine or complain, made the most of it and our thanks to the teachers that cared about their students and participated in these efforts and helped to make them a success. The Class of 2020 did not let the global pandemic define them, instead you distinguished yourselves as individuals, and as a class, with your continued commitment and resolve.

In so many ways the Class of 2020 showed grit and determination, an ability to see the “curve ball” and hit it, that will serve you well as you move on to the workplace, college, the military or wherever your interests lie. On behalf of the public employees that serve in city government please allow me to congratulate you on your accomplishment and know that our special tribute (with the help of my former fellow school board member Anthony Paretto) is our way off saying “Job Well Done!” Go Wolverines!!

All the Best!

 

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