Congratulations, Lincoln High Class of 2018
BY STEVE ARCHER
OF THE LINCOLN NEWS MESSENGER
Outgoing Lincoln High School Principal Jay Berns took the stage at graduation ceremonies Friday night to a standing ovation and chants of “MVP” from the Class of 2018.
Nearly 500 Lincoln High School seniors graduated Friday night and received their diplomas amidst flying tortillas and a steady, light breeze.
Berns told the Lincoln High School’s Class of 2018 they were his kids and he was proud of all of them.
“You are completing a long journey from elementary school to middle school and high school,” Berns said. “This is a major step in your life, a new beginning. I applaud you and your parents.”
“This is straight from the heart so hear this: you have to know we love you,” Berns added. “It is a labor of love to be an educator. We love to be here. I consider myself lucky to be your leader. I’ve watched you go through life and become men and women. You are excited about life. Keep that excitement.”
Berns, known for his inspirational morning messages, reiterated a popular theme of his.
“Choices, life is about choices; you’ve heard me say that,” Berns said. “In the future, you will have many more choices to make. If you need advice, come back and ask your teachers. This is your home. We are here for you. Come find us. We are family and we mean it.”
“Trust in yourself and you will be successful,” Berns added. “You were raised and bred not to survive the world but to change it. If all you do in life is become the best human being possible, please know you have made LHS proud. Make it a great life or not, the choice is yours.”
Class of 2018 President Madeline Merrill recalled some of her favorite Lincoln High memories.
“Mr. Berns on the loudspeaker, making Dutch Brothers runs and late nights with friends at In-N-Out,” Merrill said. “Hard work, perseverance and daily challenges have made us into the young men and women we are today. Mr. Berns, you were our fearless leader. Thank you for your positive influence and friendship.”
Class of 2018 salutatorian Xin Ma said she was excited and nervous about ‘the crossroads ahead of us.’”
“Our time in high school has helped shape our future,” Ma said. “The future that was un-seeable is now the present. Thank you, Mr. Berns, for reminding us every day that it is our choice to have a good day or not.”
Class of 2018 valedictorian Susan Li tried to put graduation in perspective.
“Ten years down the road, we won’t remember much of today, unless we are in a group of sweaty people and it’s really hot,” Li said. “The first only happens once but there are 3.6 million students expected to graduate in America.”
“This year was the first time I deliberately failed to turn in a homework assignment; it felt awesome,” Li added. “I decided that day that sleep was more important than a fraction of a grade point. Nobody cares about your past successes or failures; failure is OK. After tonight, the cool valedictorian will be a thing of the past.”
Berns, who followed Li, disagreed with her assessment.
“Sorry but this is an amazing night,” Berns said. “You guys are our kids and we’re proud of each and every one of you.”