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September 26, 2020

7/27/2020 12:06:00 PM
Principal to SHS grads: character matters
When it comes to potential success, the content of an individual's character is a more reliable indicator than class rank, Patrick Breen told the Stewartville High School class of 2020 in a virtual address released last week.
Breen, the principal of Stewartville High School, defined success as making a positive difference in the lives of others rather than earning a huge paycheck.
"I don't remember what my class rank was when I graduated," he said. "I certainly was not the valedictorian. My teachers and my parents instilled in me the thought that it was how I lived my life and how I impacted others that would prove to be a more accurate measure of my worth."
Breen told the graduates that although he's an awful singer, he still loves to sing. He recalled that when his eighth-grade music teacher told him he had no future in music, he responded that although he had no future in her version of music, he could still enjoy his own version.
"And I have mastered that in the school, in the shower, and in the singing of my sons' bedtime stories version," he said.
Breen told the students that although they might not have earned the chance to sing a solo in Nick Johnson's choir class, perhaps they still enjoy singing as much Breen does.
"You may not have mastered every one of your speeches for Mr. Meyer, but you will end up confidently saying something profound at your workplace or to the crowd and your wedding," he said. "Maybe you didn't quite measure up to Mrs. (Rhonda) Baldner's standard for impressionist artwork, but you may create the most meaningful piece to give to someone you love some day."
He told the students that he's far more interested in getting to know students as people than who is ranked No. 1 or No. 100 in their class.
"I am far more impressed with our valedictorian's character than I am by his class rank," he said.
Making the best of tough situations:
Michelle DeVilliers, class speaker, said the SHS class of 2020 includes many people willing to make the best of not-so-great situations...
For more on this story pick up your copy of the July 28 Stewartville STAR.

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