Jeffrey Reinhold P '12
Clerk, Board of Overseers
On behalf of the Overseers of the William Penn Charter School it is my great privilege and pleasure to welcome you, to the Commencement Ceremony honoring the Class of 2020. I will miss not sitting among our graduates this year. However, I feel just as fortunate to be able to address the class in this virtual environment and participate in this joyous occasion.
And, although I normally do not address our graduates at commencement, leaving that others, including their peers, I would like to do so today.
You, the Class of 2020, have spent the last four years of your time at Penn Charter during a changing and sometimes challenging time for our country. In particular, the last four months or so have occurred during a time unseen or experienced by any other class in the long history of the William Penn Charter School. I know I am not telling you anything you don’t know. And I know it has been difficult to miss out on some of the treasured and traditional events earned by your hard work. You have heard this before but I will so it one more time. I am sorry for this and hope that events that can be celebrated will, and that maybe some new traditions will have been created.
I believe there is a silver lining to what you have been through recently. You have shown remarkable flexibility to make the most of sometimes difficult situations. Your resiliency has been tested and continues to grow. You have rounded out your education with skills that will carry you forward in your life after Penn Charter. This will prove invaluable over time.
You have been gifted by your parents, your teachers, your coaches, and your advisors with a full and complete education. An education that has prepared you to face these trying times and to understand better than most, how to respond and how to lead in a way that will address the inequities and weaknesses that have been laid bare by recent events.
You are a class which has the opportunity to embrace change and make the most of it. Your perseverance and tenacity, and your attention to social justice and service to others, will be one of many ways you will be remembered. You are prepared to live lives that make a difference which we know you will do.
And now, a reading:
Proverbs Chapter 2
If you receive my words
and treasure up my commandments with you,
making your ear attentive to wisdom
and inclining your heart to understanding
yes, if you cry out for insight
and raise your voice for understanding,
if you seek it like silver
and search for it as for hidden treasures;
Then you will understand righteousness and justice and equity, every good path;
for wisdom will come into your heart,
and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul;
discretion will watch over you; understanding will guard you...