Superintendent Message - June 2021

Dr. Jon Holmen

Dear Lake Washington School District Students, Staff and Families:

Thank you. These two words seem to have a new meaning and, at times, seem inadequate to truly express how deeply grateful we are as a district to all those connected with our work this year. As we wrap up the historic 2020-21 school year, I would like to express a heartfelt thank you to our families, students, staff and community. We have all worked together in new ways this year to support each and every student as they learned both remotely and in-person to achieve success. I am humbled to have the opportunity to share a few words with all Lake Washington School District’s Class of 2021, in the form of a letter to our graduating seniors.

My letter to the graduating Class of 2021 is below:

Dear Lake Washington School District Graduate:

It’s not a stretch to say you have navigated some of the most trying times we have experienced in recent memory. Seniors in the Class of 2021, you definitely have had plenty of content for classes such as humanities and current events. As you prepare for your next step in life, we can’t forget the journey you have been on. Believe it or not, you were born just after a global concern that all our computer systems were not prepared to read the year 2000; we called it Y2K. Every industry across the globe had to take great measures to make sure our businesses, banks, and infrastructure didn’t crumble as we entered a new millennium. Looking back on the early 2000’s, there were a number of remarkable events besides welcoming our 2021 graduates to this world; President Bush signed “No Child Left Behind” into law, the tragedy of the Space Shuttle Columbia and yes, Kelly Clarkson won the first American Idol.  Life was different in the early 2000’s; we didn’t have smart phones, access to information wasn’t as readily available, and YouTube was preparing to launch in 2005. Although there were many differences, it was the rapid advancements and limitless access to innovations that you have grown up with and consider foundational to life, leisure, and future success.

“Greatness is not measured by money and stature,
 it is measured by courage and heart,”
-Author unknown.  

Remarkably, you have started your journey towards greatness. Always remember that greatness is about your impact on those around you, on those that need you most. Courage to persevere through difficulty and the heart to know your effort matters are the core of success. Each of you has greatness inside of you, don’t ever forget that. Standing for something that matters is what allows you to attain greatness. Throughout history, we can point to individuals that have influenced the world, but it also takes each of us thinking about how we can positively influence and impact those around us that allows us to make our world a better place. Each of you have something inside to give; some of this you learned in school and some of it you learned through life and growing up.

With the changing of your tassel, so comes a change in your life. Appreciate the journey, but don’t let the journey define your outcomes. Rest assured though, the change in your life is for the better, it is what you have been preparing for prior to iPhones and YouTube! The path you choose is just that, the path YOU choose. Whether you decide to go to college, trade school, the military, or directly into the workplace, you get to have an impact on the world.

My advice to you is simple; it isn’t about working harder, achieving more, or making the most money. My advice is to make your world a better place each and every day:

  • Remember to be kind, show empathy, and demonstrate grace
  • Remember to believe in people
  • Focus on the positive things in life
  • Support those that are struggling
  • Forgive often

As you venture off to your journey, consider this thought from Maya Angelou,

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said,
people will forget what you did,
but people will never forget how you made them feel.” 

I am so proud of all you have accomplished through the most challenging of times.

Congratulations, Seniors! You are graduates of the Class of 2021 in the Lake Washington School District.


Dr. Jon Holmen, Superintendent
Lake Washington School District