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The Daily Register - Harrisburg, IL
A full-time teacher in the Carmi-White County School District
To the Graduates
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By Erin Pennington

Ms. Pennington is a full-time teacher in the Carmi-White County School District. Her degree is in Secondary Education English and she has a Master's Degree in Educational Leadership. She has lived in Carmi with her daughter Taylor since the year ...

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Simply Ink

Ms. Pennington is a full-time teacher in the Carmi-White County School District. Her degree is in Secondary Education English and she has a Master's Degree in Educational Leadership. She has lived in Carmi with her daughter Taylor since the year 2000.

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By Erin Pennington
April 23, 2013 9:13 a.m.

Graduation is within the month. I’d like to dedicate this article to those who intend to graduate rather from junior high, high school, or college. I would especially like to dedicate this to my two nieces and daughter, all of whom are graduating.

To all graduates, see this moment in time as the beginning not the end. If you are graduating from eighth grade (like my niece Bethany Zinzilieta), remember that high school is what you make of it. It can be the best years of your life, or the worst, depending on your attitude and perspective. Go into high school asking what can I contribute? Not just asking what’s in it for me? Should you be graduating from high school (like my niece Ashley Zinzilieta), know that life begins after high school. You can go and do and be whatever you like. You do not have to pigeon hole yourself into being the high school stereotype you identified with so strongly. You can emerge from high school like a butterfly coming out of a cocoon. To those of you graduating from college (like my daughter Taylor Pennington), savor this moment in time, you are at a crossroads in life stepping out into the world on your chosen path.

To all of you, remember that mistakes are how you learn. No one ever does everything right and life certainly is not a straight course to follow. The bumps in the road will determine who you are by how you handle them. Lastly, “It is never too late to be what you might have become” (George Elliot). Pursue your dreams no matter how young or old you are. Life is fleeting, do what makes you happy.

To my girls…hold on to those qualities that make you uniquely you and do not compromise yourself to please someone else. Take the road “less traveled” and reap the rewards in the end. I love you.

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