A Message From Our Principal

  • Joel HaysGraduation Address 5/24/19

    Most graduation addresses focus on the future – your hopes, dreams . . . the path ahead. I could follow the cliché and read quotes from Thoreau or Dr. Seuss, but the DHS Class of 2019 deserves something different – something as funky and cool as they are! Since you presented me with these rocks, I want to continue the geology theme AND, instead of commenting on the future, I want to focus on who you are today.

    Years ago, when I first started teaching, I spent summers as a fly-fishing guide in Colorado. One of the places I worked was the Slate River outside of Crested Butte (and probably the prettiest part of Colorado). The Slate is apply named – most of the riverbed is pieces of slate like this. Beautiful rocks . . . so black in color that they actually shine blue when wet in the sunlight. But the real beauty of these stones is their shapes – each one as individual as a snowflake and shaped like so many jigsaw pieces. My clients would comment about how great the force of water was to shape them, but it is not the water. The water only provides the energy. The rocks themselves do the work. Each stone had a unique shape BEFORE it entered the river. Then impacts with other stones created the shapes we see today. If we started with a river where each stone was a sphere, after eons of time, we would still have a boring riverbed of shapeless spheres.

    You are much like this piece of slate. You had a unique shape when you came to DHS. Over the years, interactions with your classmates shaped you – however subtle those encounters were. Just as water provided the energy for the riverbed; time has provided the interactions that created who you are today. Everyday in class, the performance hall, the athletic field – you were shaping others and being shaped.

    In this world of sweeping monoculture, its great to be from a diverse place like Denton and DHS. It’s a part of who you are and will shape paths you’ll follow in the future. Look around you, the diversity of this senior class is its greatest asset and has provided you with the greatest skill we could give you. Other schools may teach students to work well with others but at DHS, you learned to truly APPRECIATE the people around you.

    You’re all beautiful pieces of slate. A little unique. A little funky. And really cool.

    Remember where you’re from. Remember those that shaped you and that you helped shape. I hope you are as proud of being a Bronco as I am of you.