Free Will: The Dawning of a New Age
Dr. Scott V. Nicol, Superintendent of Schools
Ellington High School Commencement
June 11, 2021
Board of Education Chair Jennifer Dzen, Members of the Board of Education, First Selectman Lori Spielman, Members of the Boards of Selectmen and Finance, family, students, staff, and of course, the Ellington High School Graduating Class of 2021.
I welcome you all.
It is an honor to stand here before you. To see all of your smiling faces congregating together here at Ellington High School brings me great joy.
Your journey through the Ellington Public Schools is coming to an end, but your journey is only beginning; it's a transition to a new age in your lives. At the dawn of this new age, you will have many choices before you.
The ability to choose your own path is the basic tenet of free will.
So what will guide you through these choices? For many they gather their inspiration from family, friends, mentors, religion, academic studies, spirituality, music, and yes, even astrology.
For those Baby Baby Boomers - who may be familiar - the song entitled the Age of Aquarius sung by the 5th Dimension (released in 1969) blends some of these inspirations with concepts that characterize the dawning of a new age.
Harmony and understanding
Sympathy and trust
And, the liberation of one's mind
As we are now in the Age of Aquarius - the prior cycle, the Age of Pisces, references a world we are leaving behind, built on power, money and control.
Conversely - the Age of Aquarius represents a more optimistic time, built on cooperation, humanitarianism and peace. I know which one I choose to center my goals on.
Now - here is the catch - Class of 2021. The choices before you will determine what the future holds for you and your classmates. And whether you are aware of it or not - the Ellington High School Class of 2021 - are prepared for how to choose wisely:
You are allowed to choose how you feel and what you think
You can look to the Seeds of Civility whenever you're dealing with a difficult conversation
Without judgement - it's ok to act with emotion. You can be sad for 5 minutes or 5 years - you choose
It has prepared you to decide what and who to believe
You may elect your local, state and national representatives - if you choose to participate
You have been taught to discern information in your choice of sources - including the mainstream media
You can decide whether to go it alone or with others - I suggest you choose wisely
And, you can choose what that American Flag means to you
Keep in mind that your loved ones, teachers, friends, classmates - the Ellington Family - will continue to support you - unconditionally - as your new age has its dawn.
As Superintendent of the Ellington Public Schools, I hereby certify that each student here before you this evening has satisfactorily completed the high school requirements for graduation as required by Connecticut State Board of Education and as prescribed by the Ellington Board of Education.
By the powers vested in me by the Ellington Board of Education let us award high school diplomas by reading the names of the members of the Ellington High School Class of 2021 on this 11th day of June 2021.