Dear Ogden International School Community,
We are thrilled to congratulate our two graduations class of 2017, one from 8th grade and the other from 12th grade. Please see my speeches, below. We hope to post the student speeches, also.
Speech for 8th grade graduation:
Congratulations Ogden International 8th grade class of 2017. You are the 160th graduating class of Ogden School. It is an honor and a privilege to be part of a school with such history.
We hope you add to this legacy in the years to come.
During your time at Ogden, I trust you have learned how and when to utilize the attributes of the IB Learner Profile. But an IB education doesn’t just round out the whole-person, it helps you become something greater than one person, and that is a member of a community.
As you move forward, we hope you live the ideals of the IB philosophy so that, instead of first asking, what’s in it for me, we ask, how can we make our community, our neighboring communities, and the world, a better place for everyone?
I’m excited to see so many of you return to Ogden for 9th grade. The school will continue to grow and improve in every way, and you’re going to be a part of that change. At Ogden, you’re going to learn how to lead. But regardless of where you are going, I challenge you to always remember to ensure you are doing good through your success. To paraphrase Albert Einstein, “Try not to become a person of success, but rather try to become a person of value.” Value to yourself, your family, your community, and the neighbors of your community.
Congratulations class of 2017, make Ogden proud!
Speech for 12th grade graduation:
I’ve truly enjoyed working with this class the past two years. You’ve raised the bar at Ogden and the classes that follow have a lot to live up to.
I knew you were a good group of people, but it really hit home when, on a bus ride to Great America, I leant my phone to the students. I connected my phone to the bus’s Bluetooth stereo and the kids were passing my phone around the bus, taking turns to be the DJ.
Not one of you took advantage of this opportunity. Think about it, you had the principal’s personal cell phone in your hand. You had direct and unlimited access to my personal and professional email and social media accounts. You could have wreaked havoc! Yet you didn’t. You simply played songs, admittedly with a couple explicit lyrics, and had a good time.
That’s who you are. You are principled, balanced, and caring. You work hard, you have fun, but never at the expense of others.
I want to leave you with one lasting challenge: be a risk-taker. About a month ago I read an article about students that achieved high Grade Point Averages. These students are destined to go on and have successful lives, grad school, professions, and respectable salaries. But rarely do these students rise to the top in their chosen field. Rarely do these students change, or even challenge the status quo.
And in large part, that is the fault of schools and educators. Too often schools are mimics and echoes of the status quo. We are gatekeepers ensuring that the only ones that get through are those that know how to play the game we call school. The same might happen in your future careers. There are norms, both explicit and unstated, you are expected to adhere to.
But we’re hoping you are not the status quo. In a very real sense, that is the purpose of an IB education. We want you, we need you, to challenge and confront the status quo.
Hopefully by now you’ve learned how and when to express the various learner attributes. When to be caring, when to be an inquirer, when to be open-minded, and when to be a risk-taker.
Be strategic about your risks. Challenging the status quo regarding headphones in the hallway isn’t worth your time and effort.
Instead, take the risks and fight the battles that are worth the limited time you are given.
Leave a mark on the world. Start your own business. Study what you love. Pursue your passion. Do well in college, but don’t just learn to play the game. Learn to change the game.
I know you can do it because I’ve seen you do it. I’m proud to have worked with you and I’m looking forward to seeing what you do to making this world a better place.
By the power vested in me as Principal, it is my pleasure to attest to our official verification of the students sitting before us as having met all the requirements of the Illinois State Board of Education and the Chicago Public Schools. You are now ready to join Ogden International School of Chicago's long line of distinguished alumni. I would now like to welcome up our Senior advisory teachers to the stage for the presentation of diplomas.
For a meeting with Principal Beyer, parents are encouraged to schedule an appointment so as to protect time focused on improving the quality of education at Ogden International.
Principal: Dr. Michael S. Beyer
Heads of Schools
East Campus: Cara Kranz
West Campus: Dr. Stacie Chana