Janesville superintendent shares heartfelt letter with class of 2020

Graduation caps

As students statewide prepare to finish out the rest of the school year from home, the superintendent of one area school district has a heartwarming message for his seniors.

Janesville School Superintendent Steve Pophal posted an open letter to the class of 2020 on Facebook, congratulating them on their futures and promising they will be given the opportunity to graduate.

“I know… you are disappointed, upset, confused, and sad – this is not how the last three months of your senior year was supposed to go,” the letter reads.

“You are no strangers to adversity. Nineteen years ago, you entered the world at another tumultuous time – when the world, post 9-11, was forced to adjust and change our way of life… you were our first students who’ve always had to go through security checks when going to a Packers game at Lambeau, or have always had to take off your shoes when going through airport security. You came into the world during a time of chaos, and chaos is now ushering you out of high school and pushing you into adulthood. You are used to uncertainty, and you know how to handle unpredictable times.”

Pophal also referenced the words of poet Maya Angelou in his letter.

“Maya Angelou once said, ‘You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.’

“There is wisdom in her words. You see, life is not an endless series of pleasant experiences – we all learn from adversity. We learn about our character, our resolve, and we develop plans to move us forward.”

“I am proud of your dedication and resolve,” the letter goes on to say. “I admire your ability to face adversity and keep moving forward. While it may not be the senior year ending that you had dreamed of, it will be your senior year, unique among your peers, and you will reap the rewards.”

Read the full letter here.