Yesterday was the last Monday for Fairbanks High School Seniors. If they began as kindergartners in our district, that would mean it is the last of roughly 468 Mondays spent as Fairbanks Panthers. That is over 1.3 years of Mondays enjoyed as students in our schools. Yesterday definitely felt different than all others though. 

This week begins the lead up to graduation on Saturday, May 29th. Graduation Day is a special day in our community. It is a day to honor and commemorate the work each of these students accomplished during their time in our schools. It also signifies a change in their lives. This week recognizes their friendships, their accomplishments, and their contributions to Fairbanks. Senior picnic, senior trip, and senior awards are all rites of passage leading to the graduation stage on May 29th.

Our class of 2021 will be able to offer future generations of Panthers lessons in grit, determination, and perseverance. While their academic, athletic, and community accolades stand on their own merit, it is the immeasurables that will differentiate their experience from others. They were able to navigate a change of circumstance, most of which was the unknown, to focus on doing the best they could academically and across their school community. The lesson of “Control the Controllable” is aptly applied to this group of young people. 

Some of our Panthers will go to college. Some will go into the workforce. Others will enlist as servicemen or women in the armed forces. Each will go with lessons that will make them stronger as they tackle the next challenge on their journey. They will also take something that no one can take away, a Fairbanks Diploma. They will join an alumni base that takes deep pride in their school, community, and the relationships they developed here. That is special. 

While there will be several last lasts over the next two weeks, including their last Monday, as we head towards May 29th, there will be more firsts over the coming years for the Class of 2021. They will take their first college course or get their first “real” job. They will rent their first apartment and eventually buy their first home. These firsts will stack up quickly. The Class of 2021 is prepared for these new adventures. I cannot wait to see how these Panthers change the world. 

To the Class of 2021, enjoy this time with your family and friends. You have earned it. Congratulations and see you on May 29th!

  • Adham Schirg, Fairbanks Local Schools, Superintendent

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