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July 2016
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Beachwood Buzz
17
Beachwood High School Class of 2016 Commencement Speech
by Dr. Brian Weiss, Board of Education Member
Thank you Dr. Hardis. Class of
2016, Please be seated.
I first want to take a minute to
recognize a few individuals. Here
in Beachwood, and especially on
this day, we celebrate education.
That's why we are here. That's
what we are about. It's one thing
to talk the talk, but over the last
18 months, we have had three
members of our administrative
team literally "walk the walk."
Dr. Ed Klein, Dr. Ken Veon, and
most recently, Dr. Bob Hardis
all received their respective
doctorates in their fields. We
are proud of all of them and
thrilled to have them as part of
our educational team and our
Beachwood family. Please join
me in congratulating them.
Now, I proudly address you,
the class of 2016, on this extraor-
dinary day.
On behalf of the entire Board, I
proudly accept the Class of 2016
for the conferring of diplomas. The
opportunity to participate in this
ceremony is truly the highlight of
our service as Board members.
My talk is going to have some
audience participation. If you
have a smart phone, please take it
out. Now, turn on your flashlights,
hold them up facing me and
slowly wave them back and forth
over your heads. That's great,
thank you for participating!
That had nothing to do with
my talk. I just always had a
dream of what it would feel like
to be a rock star on a big stage at
the end of a concert. No, serious-
ly, I'll get back to this later.
As each of you graduates
today, your lives are rich with
dreams. Unfortunately, in today's
world, dreams are often clouded
by doubts, fears and the un-
known. Let me assure you that
these feelings are nothing new
and you are not alone. The path
to your dreams is much like they
were to those hundreds of years
ago. Just remember: Dream big
you can get there. It all starts
with the dream, followed by
hard work and perseverance.
Of course the most well-
known of these dreams was
expressed by Dr. Martin Luther
King. Although many would
agree that even today, although
this dream has not been fully re-
alized, the advancement in race
equality may never have reached
this level without that dream.
We are fortunate. Here in
Beachwood, most of you most
of us live the dream. We are
blessed with great families, great
schools, teachers, administrators
and staff. We are blessed with a
great community that values and
supports education. The result is
a talented group of young adults
sitting here today. What we have
here, in Beachwood, is only a
dream to many school systems
locally and around the country.
So where will each of you start
on the long road of fulfilling
those dreams after graduating
today? As this journey proceeds,
many of you may become
discouraged that you're not get-
ting there smoothly or quickly
enough. If those days arrive,
reflect on the following:
Bill Gates. Yes, Microsoft Bill
Gates, one of the richest men
in the world, had his first
company, Traf-O Data, fail mis-
erably. Bill Gates had a dream.
Albert Einstein had a terrible
childhood. He never spoke
for the first three years of his
life and was thought to be
a lazy kid who would never
make anything of himself, but
Einstein had a dream.
Benjamin Franklin dropped
out of school at 10 years of
age because his parents could
not afford to keep him in
school. He taught himself and,
yes, he had a dream.
Stephen King had his first novel
rejected 30 times, but persisted
because he had a dream.
I have to include a fun fact
about Jerry Seinfeld since
I know you're sitting there
thinking, "Why wouldn't we
have a fact about Seinfeld? It's
George Costanza up there giv-
ing this speech!" Anyway, the
first time Jerry was on stage
he froze and was booed off
the stage. Jerry had a dream.
Thomas Edison failed between
1,000 and 10,000 times
before creating the light bulb.
When questioned, he stated,
"I have not failed. I've just
found 10,000 ways that won't
work. His dream allowed you
to shine those lights on me
today.
Vincent Van Gogh only sold
one painting in his lifetime,
but he had a dream.
Stephen Spielberg was reject-
ed from USC twice. His dreams
not only made him one of the
most prolific film writers of all
times, but in 1996 he became a
trustee of that same university.
Many of you have had a dream
of seeing a football or soccer
game under the lights at Beach-
wood High School. Later this
year, your dream will be fulfilled!
Just this week on the cover
of People Magazine, Cleveland's
own Steve Harvey tells of living
in his Ford Tempo for three years.
He stated that he had a dream
of being a TV star. Today, he has
three successful shows and is
worth over $100 million.
We are fortunate. Here
in Beachwood, most of
you most of us live the
dream. We are blessed
with great families,
great schools, teachers,
administrators and staff.
We are blessed with a
great community that
values and supports
education. The result
is a talented group of
young adults sitting here
today. What we have
here, in Beachwood, is
only a dream to many
school systems locally and
around the country.
Continued on page 19.