GSCSS Superintendent to seniors: We’re on your side; proms, graduation not cancelled


Griffin-Spalding County School Superintendent Jim Smith has released a video message to high school seniors, a message in which Smith warmly recalls his own experiences as a high school senior before addressing students whose senior year has been so distinctly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

As he recounted his own momentous life events – particularly graduation – he recalled how important it was to have his friends and family in the stands to celebrate his accomplishments.

“And I know it’s important to you, as well, and because it’s important to you, it’s important to us. I want you to know that none of those events have been cancelled,” Smith said.

Proms have been tentatively moved ahead to May and Smith said the school system intends to move forward with them if health officials approve the gathering of large groups.

“The same thing is true for graduation. They’re still scheduled for May 22 and 23. They haven’t been cancelled and we’re very hopeful that we’ll be back in school by then, number one, and number two, that the local officials will say it’s safe to gather in the large groups without causing risks of having these illnesses carry on. And even if it’s not on those days, we will find a date when it’s safe to gather together so you can have the same experience of having your friends and family cheering you on as you walk across that stage to receive your diploma and that shows all the work – is the culmination of all the work you’ve done for 12, 13 or 14 years to get to that point,” Smith said. “So, please work with your teachers. If you’re in dual enrollment, please follow their instructions so that when we get to that date of graduation, you’ll have met all requirements.”

Smith reiterated the overriding theme of his message – the importance of Griffin-Spalding County students – and encouraged them to remain steadfast during this challenging time.

“Please know you are important to us. You’re important to me. You’re the next ones going out into our community to take your positions of leadership. We need you to be out there the best you can be,” he said. “Sometimes going through adversity make us better people, so take that into account that no matter what’s happening now, this can only make you stronger. You’re important to us, seniors. We’re here for you we’re in your corner. We’re on your side.”

Smith’s video message can be viewed in its entirety here:

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