Editor’s Note: Charlie Glaes gave his last commencement address as Vicksburg school superintendent to the graduating class on Sunday, June 3. He wove into his address a reference to a recent tragedy to teach one last lesson to those seniors.
While a legacy impacts the future, building a legacy is really about life, and living; discovering what’s really important and focusing on that – on the kind of life we want to live, and the kind of world we want to live in. What a gift, to be doing that so young, and to be helping those even younger to do so as well.
As superintendent I had the opportunity to read your classmate Brennan Hamilton’s scholarship application essay composed before he died in a tragic auto accident last week. In it, he reflected on an experience he had, volunteering for two years in gym class at Sunset Lake Elementary, and discovering that the right work can be fun as well as make an impact. He said, “The experience made me realize two things: the first being that time moves fast, and to never take for granted the time you do have in this life, and the second being that whether you realize it or not, you always have someone who looks up to you.”
He continued, “It is rather ironic, I was volunteering to help teach kids sports while in reality they were the ones who taught me more than they will ever realize.”
My wish for you, seniors, is that you will have a long life, and that you will live it in a way that builds a strong personal legacy; that you will live knowing that someone looks up to you, and that you will build bridges for those who follow you.