Smith's Dorien Porter and Dudley's Landen Johnson (copy) (copy)

Dorien Porter from Academy at Smith and Landen Johnson from Early Academy at Dudley. (H. Scott Hoffmann/News & Record)

I appreciated the News & Record publishing the thank-you letters from graduating high students on June 9.

It did my heart good to read the letters from Isabel DuMond, Dorien Porter, Landen Johnson and Ian Kilpatrick. I used to teach high school and I know how difficult it can be for students to persevere and maintain that goal of graduating and actually see it to fruition.

It truly takes a team to support a student over all those years and life changes. How these students expressed love and appreciation for each team member who supported them was a blessing to read.

Especially touching was Isabel’s letter about how much she appreciated all that her parents had done for her.

I know her letter will be one of the most treasured items her parents will ever possess. So many times children never tell their parents or those who raised them how much they are appreciated until they are old — or they never do before their parents are gone.

Just recently, a friend who rebelled against his parents as a younger person told me he would give anything to be able to thank his parents for all they did for him and the role models they set. Sadly, his parents are gone now and he never said those things when he had the chance.

Congratulations to all of the graduates and may you continue to “graduate” from one phase of your life to the next, with pride and thankfulness.

Carry it forward, please.

Keith Davis


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