When you visit Tilghman, take a moment to walk and look at the portraits of the alumni in the PTHS Hall of Fame. You find alumni who have made their mark in every field. Our alumni include Nobel Prize winners, politicians in the highest levels of government, professional athletes, military officers, and artists who are known world-wide. To walk through the Hall of Fame is to see that the tradition of excellence extends from PTHS and on into the vocational lives of our alumni. Beyond this elite group, there are multitudes of alumni who are a credit to their profession and their community. They are nurses, policemen, teachers, entrepreneurs, and business owners who are actively engaged in the civic, spiritual, and cultural life of the communities where they live.
When Paducah Middle principal Stacey Overlin was addressing the PTHS class of 2020 at their 8th grade promotion ceremony, he explained his preference for using the word “promotion” instead of “graduation” for their celebration. He said graduation wouldn’t happen until they finished four years at Tilghman, but then he went on the say that he hoped that for some of the members of this class that they would not have truly “graduated” until they earned their degrees as medical doctors and professors and lawyers.
It may be helpful, as Mr. Overlin said, to think of each step in our educational path as a “promotion” rather than a “graduation”. Each step of the journey gives each of us the opportunity to pursue excellence, and in doing so to honor our families, our schools, and our communities.
So, PTHS Class of 2016, you’ve made your mark here. But it’s just the first step of the journey. Honor the tradition of excellence that so many alumni have established as they have moved through life and continue making your mark as you move out into the world.