Anthony Wessel Photo

FSHS graduate Anthony Wessel gives a Senior Scholar Address at the commencement ceremony on May 23.

Well, here we are: the time that we may have thought would never really arrive. And it’s been quite the journey to get here, especially in the past year or so. And I know; the last thing you want right now is to have to listen to someone, just before you’re going to be free from school, drone on and on about how great school is. Luckily for you guys, I didn’t want to bother writing a very long speech, so I’ll be brief.

I think we’ve really seen firsthand the value of even the most basic education during this past year. And it’s not even a matter of knowing facts and figures; so many people in the world are somehow going through life without essential critical thinking skills, like how to discern fact from fiction or not understanding the simple idea of how evidence works? The point I’m trying to make is that education isn’t just about learning how to find the zeros of a quadratic function or learning about the War of 1812...there are vital skills you gain that are invaluable to have in our rapidly changing modern world, like skepticism and critical thinking. And, if I’m being honest, Simpson County Schools has actually done a pretty good job of integrating these concepts.

Of course, not perfectly. But given the circumstances, I think we were offered a pretty good education. Whether or not that opportunity was seized varies from person to person here, but the fact that the opportunity for a good education was offered in the first place is amazing.

Ultimately, what I have been trying to impart here is how grateful we should be for the education we have been allowed to have. And I know: this has surely all sounded a little hypocritical coming from someone who evidently acts as the system intends. But I implore you to listen to me, despite that, and to try to look at the underlying truths of what I am trying to say...always value your educational opportunities and using some common sense along the way never hurt anybody. And congrats on graduating.

Thank you.

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