In the mediums of crayons and tears, Kathleen Hansen painted a poignant picture of things to come at St. Mary's High School commencement, her own career at the school ending with the academic years of the 27 graduating seniors.
Hansen came to the school the year that the seniors started kindergarten, she served as principal during many of their years, and she has announced that she will leave after this school year. She told the seniors Sunday that they were like her own children to her. "We came in together, and we'll go out together," she said.
Beneath the graduates' chairs, the educator had hidden a few surprises, too, including a small box of children's crayons for each of them, and a blank sheet of drawing paper.
The crayons are for coloring in their life's journey, she said, her voice beginning to crack with emotion as she went on, and the blank sheet represents the canvas of their future, yet to be determined.
"The black and white colors should be separated out, reserved for the absolutes," Hansen said. She suggested that those things that the students should hold as absolute certainties should include their faith, and their enduring love for one another.
The rest of the colors are theirs to fill in the rest, just as the spectrum of choices in front of them will color their loves, she said.
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