As my first school year in office comes to an end, I have had the true privilege of celebrating not just the academic achievements of the Class of 2018—of which there are many—but also recognizing the limitless potential that lay before each and every graduate. And, having spoken at over a dozen graduations in the last two weeks, I can tell you that this is a class that will change the world.
It was particularly meaningful to speak to students exactly 50 years after the death of Bobby Kennedy. As I told the students, during his 1968 presidential campaign, he often said, “Most men see things as they are and ask why; I dream of things that never were and ask why not.”
Fifty years later, we have witnessed a new generation of students boldly rejecting the status quo. And even though the things many of them want to change—gun control, immigration, climate change, to name a few—may seem out of reach today, we are counting on them to keep asking, “why not?”
Visiting all 147 schools in my district this year, meeting with hundreds of our BD4 families, teachers, administrators, and community partners, and representing all the future leaders of L.A. Unified gives me a tremendous amount of hope.
A huge thank you to all the Board District 4 school leaders and staff who welcomed my team and me into your school communities throughout the year and invited us to participate in the culminating efforts of their hard work and motivating visions these past few weeks.
I am grateful for the chance to work on your behalf to give all of our students the tools to graduate college- and career-ready. This is our chance to fulfill the promise of public education—a promise that this opportunity exists for every child, no matter where they come from or what obstacles they face. As Bobby Kennedy would ask, “Why not?”
Cheers to the Class of 2018!
BD4's Graduation Daze: Presenting the Class(es) of 2018!
(From top left to bottom right): (Line 1): Nick addresses scholarship recipients from L.A. Unified's Homeless Education Program; Hollywood HS graduates line up at the historic Hollywood Bowl; Nick speaks to the 5th grade class at Gardner St ES; WESM graduates throw their caps in the air after receiving their diplomas; Nick addresses STEM Academy's graduating class; Nick presents a certificate at the City School culmination; (Line 2): Nick poses with the soon-to-be graduates at Venice HS; Nick speaks to the adult graduates of WVOC; Nick addresses Pali HS's class of 2018; Nick opens at the Fairfax HS graduation; (Line 3): graduates from L.A. Unified Options schools take their seats for the ceremony; Nick attends the culmination of CTC West's Project Search; Animo Venice graduates wave to their families; Bernstein celebrates their 2018 graduates; (Line 4): Nick addresses the graduates at the Venice Skills Center; Nick congratulates the APEX Academy class of 2018; University HS graduates wave to the crowd; Nick addresses the Taft HS graduation ceremony)
Why did the School Board Member cross the road?: A group of 3rd graders at Citizens of the World - Mar Vista advocated for a safer crosswalk next to their school. Their persistence resulted in a successful collaboration with LADOT and Councilmember Mike Bonin, and we all got to test it out together (after looking both ways, of course)! Great to see young democracy in action at our schools.