Let me say this to all the students - welcome to Wayne County High School.
In life we all have to make many choices and decisions, including some difficult ones. But once a choice or decision has been made, the next step is to face it and treat it as a task that must be accomplished and done well. To do this requires a wide range of qualities, some you already have, and others you will soon develop. To name a few: devotion; good judgment; hard work; motivation; optimism; resilience; responsibility; self confidence; sense of purpose, etc. You also have to be prepared to respond to the challenges that lie ahead. Try your best to show your teachers (and also your fellow students) that you are willing to overcome difficulties. Prepare yourself for this new chapter in your life. Perhaps you can begin by understanding what your courses will involve, and what will be expected of you during the next four years. Also, consider the possible challenges you could face.
You have already overcome the first hurdle - getting in to high school. Now that you are here, the next hurdle before you, simply put, is this: You have to do well in all your courses and extracurricular activities; and complete high school in 4 years. But at Wayne County High School we want you to do more. Your achievements must be good for yourself, your parents, your future, the country, and the world.
Many students who go to high school think that the main purpose, as far as they are concerned, is to gain knowledge. But let me tell you this: Success at high school not only depends on gaining knowledge and memorizing facts. It also depends on how well you can use the things that you learn. You must also try your utmost to achieve academic excellence. It would be very difficult for me, in a few words, to define the meaning and way to achieve this. But suffice to say, among other things, quality work, originality, creativity and innovative ideas are important ingredients. Don't forget that the skills you will develop in Wayne County High School are essential for your future career. When you graduate, employers and colleges will look for graduates who have skills such as the ability to communicate with others, work under pressure and in teams, organize their time well, good attendance, and meet deadlines. The skills you learn in high school can be transferred to your everyday life and future. In my view, that is also part of academic excellence.
So do pay some attention to those attributes and show them wherever and whenever you can - don't be shy, your future may depend on it.
Excerpts: Prof. S.Y. Zee, "A Welcome Speech to New Students"