Friday, April 27, 2018


Principal “Reflections & Projections”

Each May another group of students meets the graduation requirements set forth by the district and earns the right to walk across the stage and receive a diploma. For families this is a proud, but yet, bittersweet day.  Everyone looks forward to it, cannot wait until it arrives, but then when reality sets in and the day quickly approaches and then arrives, we wonder where the time went.  I hear often from parents – “it went by so fast….where did the time go….I can’t believe my child is graduating…it seems like just yesterday…..” the list could go on. The Spearfish High School class of 2018 is prepared for their future. The teachers at SHS have made sure of that.  The tools are in place. Each graduate now needs to use what they have learned from the best high school teachers the state has to offer. Seniors, it is up to you. Make us proud. More importantly, make yourself proud.

I have used and shared several tidbits of advice in the May column over the years. First, be honest. Understand that you will mess up. Learn from messing up. Admit it, fix it and move on. Second, work hard. Working hard will get you through most anything. People recognize and reward hard work.  Third, show up on time, most people don’t. Simple as that.

A few others.

Don’t take your first semester or year at college or tech school “off”.  The temptations will be numerous, but resist them.  Always go to class, no matter what!  Catching up is tough - stay ahead, don’t fall behind.  Structure some study time into your mornings.  It is by far the best time to get things done.  The rest of your college buddies will be sleeping and won’t distract you.  Once you arrive, meet and talk to as many people as you can.  You never know how that will pay off, but someday somewhere, it will. 

Keep yourself on a budget.  You won’t have a lot of money and you don’t need a lot of money.  Don’t spend what you don’t have.  A recent study shows that 41% of South Dakota residents have nothing, zero dollars, in a savings account. 59% have less than $1000. Buck the trend. Live within your means. Save some money.

Find out that there is more to life than social media and your smart phone. Don’t post everything on Facebook, Instagram, Snap chat, Twitter, etc.  A future employer will eventually find it and see it.  Being stupid on social media will eventually haunt you. Social media can be great, but it more than likely will drain you. Bottom line, don’t be stupid!  You will have numerous opportunities to do so.  If it looks and seems like it isn’t the right thing to post or do – it isn’t! 

Lastly, keep in touch with your family, and especially with your parents.  Family is the support structure that you never want to lose. Amazingly, parents get more intelligent the older you get. Use your parents, I will tell you, you never know when you won’t have your mother or your father to use so take advantage of every minute you can. 

Parents, please uphold your part of this deal as well.  Treat your son or daughter as the adult they now have become.  Prepare them for life on their own.  Talk about the transition and assure your young adult that they are ready.  Don’t abandon them (see above) they need you.  This time is, and should be, a learning adventure for parents as well, even if you have been through it with older children.  This is unique as all kids are different and will handle their new life differently.  Allow your child space, but don’t leave them alone.  Don’t attempt to organize their life away.  They will need to experience failure, the most successful and best adults deal with it daily.  Accept the career path your child chooses.  It is their life choice, not yours.

Every student that comes into my office sees the attitude plaque.  Attitude - is a little thing that makes a big difference.  It will be tough some days….but, keep and maintain a positive attitude.

Abraham Lincoln, 16th president of the United States, summed things up with this quote – “Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”

Congratulations Class of 2018 and best of luck with your future. 

Until next time,
Steve Morford
Spearfish High School