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Congratulations to the class of 2020! I enjoyed learning from you and listening to your intelligent viewpoints. This year's graduations were not anywhere near what we were expecting or envisioning when we started the school year, but they turned out to be very special and wonderful in their own way - certainly a graduation to remember for a lifetime!
While the young student in this photo was smiling only at a photographer, without an audience, her smile captures the essence of what I saw over and over again at last week's diploma pick-up events. Students with pride, a sense of accomplishment, resiliency, and an optimism about the future. I want to extend my gratitude to our students who helped us create the best experience possible and wish the Class of 2020 the best, we will miss you.
There is a saying I love that seems to sum up how our teachers, students, and families have concluded this school year - "Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out" - from former UCLA basketball coach John Wooden. Wooden, nicknamed the "Wizard of Westwood”. He won 10 NCAA national championships in a 12-year period as head coach, including seven in a row when no other team had ever won more than four in a row. His perseverance, patience, commitment, and leadership allowed his team to focus on the critical fundamentals necessary for success. Our MVLA community has demonstrated these same qualities as we manage the impacts of this historic pandemic.
As a nation, the pandemic is not the only struggle we are facing. Our community is tackling the national conversation about racism and race relations, following the tragic death of George Floyd and many other people of color. We will continue to address the impacts of racism when we return to school. Perseverance, patience, commitment, and leadership will be important as this conversation continues.
I thank our entire MVLA community for their flexibility, patience, and creativity as we dealt with the closures of schools and the launch of distance learning. As we continue planning toward various scenarios for next year, we are doing so with a highly-committed Task Force and several Advisory Teams. You will read more below.
I look forward to working together during these challenging times.