Be Brave, Be Serious

School Superintendent Christopher ClouetDear Students of The Tarrytowns Union Free School District,
As I finish my first year in the District [as School Superintendent] I am delighted to share some words of encouragement and gratitude with each of you as you prepare to graduate from Sleepy Hollow High School or  move up to the next level on your educational pathway.


At right, Tarrytowns UFSD School Superintendent Christopher Clouet

For the Class of 2014 at Sleepy Hollow High School, I encourage you to be brave and to be serious. Brave and serious? Yes, be brave when exploring the world, your world. Brave does not mean reckless or thoughtless. It means doing something extraordinary, in other words: not ordinary. One does not need to climb a mountain or compose a soundtrack (both good ideas!). You might teach a young kid to swim, using another language. Maybe look for a summer job outside of your normal range of experience. Try out a new instrument.

And serious? Yes. Be serious about yourself. You have one life, it’s not a YOLO reference, but sleeping away the hours and being constantly logged in and linked in to social media is not going to present you opportunities to flourish and grow.

Younger students, those now finishing a chapter in their lives and preparing to begin again – in high school, middle school, at Washington Irving, or Morse,
I encourage you to be brave and serious, too. In our school district every few years you get a wonderful chance to enter a new school and to try new things. Be brave — try a new sport, participate in a school play (even if you are shy), learn how to bake (if your parents say it’s OK), or learn how to code.

We are fortunate to live in a place where there are many opportunities to explore and to grow and to live life to the fullest.

Finally, it is never too late – that is especially true when you are young. Don’t be intimidated by challenges. You can learn new things, and should.

We are all on a path. Enjoy the journey! Be brave, and be serious about yourself! You are the “captain of your fate.”

The poet Antonio Machado wrote: “Caminante, no hay camino. Se hace camino al andar.” [Traveler, there is no path. One makes the path by walking.]

I thank you, students, for welcoming me to the community. You have been very kind to me. I appreciate it. You are a wonderful group of young people! Enjoy your summer break!  ©

Dr. Christopher Clouet
School Superintendent

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