Published By: Stephanie Yao Long of The Oregonian, June 10, 2014
As the students entered the floor of the coliseum to take their seats, they remained standing facing backwards, acknowledging the audience filled with supporters. Later, principal Peyton Chapman would again ask the graduates to stand and applaud their parents.
Greg Belisle, Portland Public Schools board member, offered a greeting. Teacher Fred Fox, voted to be the faculty speaker, received a standing ovation by the students. Student McKinley Rodriguez wrote a love letter to Portland. Guest speaker and Lincoln parent David Howitt, CEO of Meriwether Group, referred to the graduating class as “dragon slayers.”
Fox, an International Baccalaureate economics and history teacher, prompted some tears when he dubbed his speech his “one final lesson” for the graduates.
“Today’s dreams are tomorrow’s nightmares,” he exclaimed. Fox gave the example of the invention of chlorofluorocarbon, which was meant to improve lives by making refrigeration widely accessible but now is known to deplete the ozone.
“Accept now that future generations will criticize you.”
Howitt, CEO of Meriwether Group and Lincoln parent, iterated, “Many people have failed doing what they hate, so you may as well do what you love.”
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