President’s Graduation Speech

On behalf of our faculty and staff, I am pleased to welcome our parents, grandparents, Trustees, alumni, corporate sponsors, and benefactors to the Commencement Exercises for the Cristo Rey Boston High School Class of 2012.

We are proud of each of you, and we are grateful to everyone who made it possible for you to receive an extraordinarily unique, Catholic college preparatory education.
Each of you is special to us.  You were the class that helped move this school from Cambridge to Boston.  You had faith in our mission, and we are forever grateful.

You jumped into a new curriculum that began as an experiment in your freshman year, you succeeded beyond our expectations, and along the way you created a culture that has profoundly changed teaching and learning at our school. Your success – 100% of you on your way to college this fall – has helped Cristo Rey Boston High School rise to the top ranks of schools in our great city.

As you go into the world, I want to leave you with three thoughts.  First, be the thinker we taught you to be.  Recall the times when you thought one way about the world, and then a book, a discussion in class, or a scripture reading made you think differently.  As graduates of this school, you have the capacity to separate bias from fact, to look critically at the world around you, and to find solutions to problems and challenges that others may not even see.

Secondly, we want you to follow your passion.  If at some point in life, you find yourself doing a job or in a career where you continuously look forward to the end of the day or the end of the week or the end of the job, then chances are you are doing the wrong thing.  We have trained you to do what God calls you to do.  We won’t be happy if you visit us years from now and simply say that I’m a doctor or a lawyer or an accountant. We’ll be happy if you are truly happy.

Finally, the world you enter will change, you will change, and you must be prepared to move in directions you have yet to imagine.  You are all on a linear path towards a college degree, and we do not want you to deviate from it.  One day, however, you may feel a call to move into something entirely different, something for which you have not studied or prepared, but something you are called to do.  And, that’s a good thing.  Fr. Medina was a civil engineer who answered a call to the priesthood and became an educator.  I was a lawyer who transitioned into education.  The work we do was not envisioned by those who taught us years ago, but the training we received prepared us for our life’s work.

My friends you have made a difference in the classroom, in the workplace, and in the community. Your teachers, our staff, and I know how great you are, and soon the world will know the same.

Congratulations Class of 2012.  We are proud of each of you, and we are excited to see the new world you will help to create.

Jeff Thielman

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