Dr. Tom Deighan

In my short time as your superintendent, I have had the pleasure of meeting several of you, but my most lasting impression will certainly be your class dance earlier in the year. Since then, I have personally met with several parents wondering if they want their kids to attend Duncan Public Schools. I simply refer them to the class dance videos, and it has worked every time. I attended three high schools as a student, so take my word for it: DHS is a special place with rich tradition and personality. You make me wish I graduated here. You are a special class living in unprecedented times, but did you realize the profound (and possibly prophetic) messages of your Senior Class Dance song choices?

You and Big and Rich are right: this town, ain't never gonna be the same after the class of 2020 because you have not only faced the most interesting senior year in a generation, you have faced it with dignity, maturity, and optimism. COVID has been no match for you; you are its pandemic. We adults often dismiss your challenges because we apparently forgot to wear shoes when it snowed, but I promise that our generation could not have done better than you. If anyone doubts that, just watch the original Footloose. We should not be on any high horse or tractor.

Trust me, you don’t want to be a Scooby Doo cliché one day, muttering under your breath about those meddling kids. It can easily happen, so remember that your kids will have even more video evidence. Give the old caretaker a break because you will soon be him. He’s just trying to live his life, and things change so fast it’s hard to keep up. He may not be creepy or grumpy, anyways; he just may be sore after trying to match your dance moves. And besides, it’s now perfectly normal for old folks to run around in masks. Zoinks!

I would like to pretend that the Beastie Boys had a message, but they did not. Much of adolescence is just blowing off steam, and what got banned 30 years ago is now on Nickelodeon. They are all nearly sixty, so they may not sleep until Brooklyn, but their tour bus better arrive before 9:00 PM with a glass of Metamucil. Have fun while you can and don’t let us worry you too much. Our generation pressures you to have a plan, but if we are honest, few of us had a clue at your age. We all dreamed about our own version of New York, New York and imagined ourselves as hero Ghostbusters. You will get your shot, but don’t pass it up because it’s New Mexico or Ghost Hunters. You never know where little opportunities lead you.

May 2020 is as scary as an old Michael Jackson video (believe it or not, it freaked a lot of people out in 1982), but it is also just as campy. If our generation can transition from parachute pants to the digital age, just imagine your generation’s “Thriller.”  Yours is not only a new century; it is a new millennium!  You have inherited the COVID crisis, but I promise that it will eventually pass. Embrace the uncertainty you feel right now, for much of life is uncertain. We just pretend otherwise. There is a fine line between uncertainty and opportunity, between indecision and infinite potential. Just remember that fear is often just excitement ready to bust out, so continue to leave it all on the dance floor. One of the only things you can control in life is your attitude, so don’t grow up so much you cannot laugh at yourself.  Nevertheless, agreeing to “never grow up” with Taylor Swift does not include fashion or hairstyles. They should not be the same in 30 years, even though your kids will for some reason be dressing almost exactly like you.

On behalf of Duncan Public Schools, the Board of Education, and all of Duncan, congratulations!  We are all proud of you. This is your dance now, and since we clearly cannot match your moves, we are just honored to cheer you on. You are the class of 2020, and you have been born for such a time as this. May your dance have eternal significance, and may God Bless you all.

Senior Parents Dance Video: https://www.facebook.com/kathy.mead/videos/10158971251089418/

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