Dream Big, Class of 2017
To Montana’s class of 2017 graduates, congratulations! As State Superintendent, I am honored and humbled to oversee Montana’s K-12 public school system. Montana’s public schools are making Montana proud. Dedicated teachers and administrators have guided many along the way. Most importantly, families deserve recognition. The most significant indicator to any student’s success is a supportive family. As a mother and grandmother, I know that graduation is truly a celebration for the entire family.
We always strive to improve in Montana. This past fall, 3,958 incoming Montana freshman enrolled in Montana University System campuses which is an eight year low and one in five freshman have had to enroll in remedial math courses over the past several years. Strengthening the partnership between K-12 and higher education as well as focusing on math achievement, especially in middle school, is a priority for the Office of Public Instruction.
We must promote college, career, and community readiness in our schools by preparing students in career and technical education, skill certification, and STEM education that reflects Montana’s job market. Investing in Montana’s students will prepare them to become community leaders and make Montana communities proud.
I had the privilege of being the commencement speaker to Simms High School’s 21 graduates. The overflowing gym reflected the celebration of our Montana values. Simms High School serves multiple communities in the Sun River Valley and is a representation of Montana’s unique education system.
The message that I shared at Simms High School is the message that I share with all Montana graduates: Believe. Knowing who you are will help you pursue the career that you want and work for the kind of world that you want live in. This is a time to make dreams a reality. Montana’s Big Sky is the limit. I encourage all graduates to dream big and work hard. Make Montana proud.