Congratulations Class of 2017!

It is May 30, 2008 as both you and I prepared for your 3rd grade promotional ceremony and your last day at McHarg Elementary. I shared with you this message that day before you were called up to the front of the cafeagymatorium to receive your promotional certificate:


  • Quite a successful year!  As I said before, you should be very proud of your accomplishments and successes. But don’t go yet. Don’t leave this school just yet. I have one more bit of information for you. I would like to send you off with a little bit of – Mr. Graham’s Advice.


If there is one word that sticks out more than any this year…one word that has been a part of our vocabulary since the first day of school…a word you just said and say every day in our McHarg Terrific Kid Pledge…That word would be RESPECT. I ask you to think about this word and listen to its definition.


  • Respect – a sense of the worth or excellence of a person
  • Synonyms are: Admire, Appreciate, Honor, and Regard.


Respect is one of the most important words you will learn and need to remember for the rest of your life. Sometimes these days, respect is a word that is forgotten. It is easy to be mean and disrespectful, but I ask you to take the higher road. Challenge yourself to be respectful to your parents, brothers, sisters, grandmothers, grandfathers, relatives, teachers, friends, peers and most importantly yourself. Remember that this class, the one you are sitting with today at McHarg Elementary, is the class you will be sitting with in 2017 at Radford High School. You will continue to work together, play together, learn together and grow together. Besides your family, these are the people that you are going to spend the greatest amount of time with over the next nine years of your educational career. Be respectful to them and I will guarantee that you will develop wonderful friendships and promote positive academic, social and behavioral experiences. Congratulations on your promotion to Belle Heth. The McHarg School Community wishes you the best and ask that you come back to visit.

Thank you seniors for listening to my message and building strong, positive relationships with your classmates and school community members that will last a lifetime. I appreciate the model you have established for those classes and students behind you to follow. As you prepare to leave the Radford City School System, please know that you have earned our respect, and we wish you all the best with your future endeavors. Congratulations soon to be class of 2017! Please don’t forget to come back and visit this special place.

Robert F. Graham


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