We are assembling today as a school to participate in a special ceremony, called a dedication.
A dedication can be defined in several different ways:
Dedication can be translated as a feeling of very strong support for, or loyalty to, someone or something. It is the quality, or state of being committed, to a person, a group, or a cause.
You might know a dedication as a message at the beginning of a book, or a song, or poem, saying that the thing was written or is being performed in order to honor or express affection for someone.
Dedication can also be described as the act of officially saying that something (such as a new building, or the sculpture you see before you) was created for a particular purpose or to remember or honor a particular person or cause.
In a sense, our dedication this morning has the elements of all three of these definitions . . . being committed to a group (our school and those who occupy her), honoring or expressing affection (for the unique potential within each of us), and officially saying that this sculpture was created for a particular purpose (to remind us of our individual responsibility in fulfilling our mission as a school).
One of our beliefs as a school is that, “everyone has the capacity to learn.” This is founded on the fundamental, God given, truism that each of us possesses inherent ability. And, with that ability, each of us is endowed, we have, the responsibility (second “R”) of growing that ability into greater degrees of capability.
There is value in recognizing the implication of this school belief, what it means, what it implies, and how it should guide and govern our attitudes and behaviors about our learning and working to learn.
This is what this sculpture, and the dedication of it, is all about. From this morning forward, it will stand as a symbol . . . as a reminder . . . that each of us is of value. Each of us matter. We were, and are, created for significance. And, that our entire purpose as a school is to support, educate, enrich and shape lives.
To begin our dedication ceremony, I would like to name the members of the BCHS Sculpture Project Team. They are:
These BCHS students are all enrolled in Mr. Hackman’s third trimester Agriculture Mechanics class.
The following sculpture project team members are here this morning representing the class:
Will Crockett, Nick Mauer, and Travis Hall
At this time, I would like to ask Will, Nick, and Travis to step forward. On behalf of the students and staff of Brownstown Central Middle School, I would like to present to you, and the rest of your project team, this certificate of appreciation for your contribution to the beautification and mission of our school.
It is our hope that it might find a special place in the classroom, just as your sculpture has find its own special place on our campus.
There is a proud tradition of educational excellence and community in the Brownstown Central Community School Corporation. In the year of 1963-1964 five local school districts incorporated, or came together, to form Brownstown Central. Those districts included:
It was in the fall of that same 1963-1964 school year that Brownstown Central Middle School received its official title, and structure, as a middle school.
Many in the community continue to speak fondly of the memories that they had as students here . . . including playing, themselves, in the gym . . . which remains as the only part of the school’s original structure (originally built in the 1940’s).
It was in 1982 that the brick and mortar of the old middle school building was torn down and the new building was constructed around the existing gymnasium.
The sixth grade building expansion would happen later, in the year 2000.
In the history of our middle school, students have come and gone. The same can be said of teachers, principals, and other support staff. What has remained constant is the purposeful work that is done here to develop and to inspire, through learning, the lives of those who attend.
There are not any words that allow me to describe the time, effort, and compassion that have gone into the shaping of so many lives, by so many people, over the past 75 years.
This morning we can only pause in this symbolic gesture.
As principal of Brownstown Central Middle School, with the consent of the School Superintendent and the unanimous support and permission of the Brownstown Central Community School Corporation School Board of Trustees, dedication of this sculpture, “Shaping Lives,” on the Brownstown Central Middle School campus common, this Thursday, May 26, 2016, is upraised in recognition of those who have come before for their devotion to the mission and posterity of our school. In equal measure, this sculpture stands to signify the commitment of those present, and in the future, to that enduring mission.
Whenever the sculpture is seen or spoken about, may it serve to remind us of our personal responsibility to develop our potential in shaping our future. And as the shapes of the sculpture are interconnected, may this serve to remind us to do THAT which is in our power to contribute to the healthy development of each other.
Although our lives may take different paths, our futures uniquely “shaped” in accordance with our choices and abilities, we remain interconnected in our human condition.