The 2,204 seniors who graduated this year left our district with much more than a solid academic foundation and a well- respected Utica Community Schools diploma.
The UCS Class of 2013 also left our schools with a set of unique skills that will be critical when it comes to success in college, career or the military. These include the ability to adapt quickly to changes in their learning and future employment and the capacity to create different ways to solve problems and find the right solutions.
This is important to us as we prepare graduates who will be competitive and comfortable in the future workforce. The students who are leaving schools this year will face an employment picture where advancement and career change are not only accepted but also expected practice.
They are going to move into a future where they will have multiple careers or need to be prepared for jobs that do not even exist today.
As the adults in their lives, we watched these skills emerge throughout the K-12 academic careers of the graduates of 2013.
I had the pleasure to interview a number of this year’s seniors for our annual Superintendent’s Scholarship program. They represent a perfect example of how UCS graduates work very hard to prepare for their future.
The 34 recipients all have different backgrounds, experiences, skills and dreams for success. Yet despite their differences, all shared a common ability to get the most out of their time in Utica Community Schools.
They made conscious decisions to increase the rigor of their studies and to involve themselves in a variety of
experiences in their schools and community.
Thanks to our Board of Education and district leadership, the exemplary programs and services that benefited these students and their classmates will continue to provide a solid foundation
for all current UCS students and the many yet to come.
And as our district looks ahead, I am pleased to report that the budget the Board recently adopted for the coming school year maintains our current level of services and allows for important improvements to our curriculum.
The 2013-2014 budget continues our district focus on college and career readiness for all students. It also establishes consistent instructional levels, maintains current programs and services and supports our district-wide teaching and learning initiatives.
This focus will provide stability for UCS students and families. It is this consistent environment that gives our students the confidence to meet the challenges of an evolving world.
The Class of 2013 gave us a glimpse of the promising future our graduates will have in this new world. They achieved at record levels and brought national and state recognition to our schools. They gave us many reasons to be proud.
Thanks to the work of our school community, this year’s graduates also demonstrated that UCS students are certain to have a competitive edge in a global society and an ever-evolving job market.