Dear Class of 2020,
It has truly been my pleasure to have the opportunity to work with you and this class. I will definitely hold up the Class of 2020 as the standard to which all future Trinity classes should aspire. This class has already achieved so much, but you haven’t even scratched the surface of your potential, for it is infinite. This class epitomizes grace, courage, strength, determination, and compassion. This class has proven that they can and will rise to any challenge. When faced with adversity, this class has redoubled their efforts and overcome those challenges. There is no doubt that these last few weeks have been a disappointing end to your TST tenure. You have been asked to make numerous sacrifices, and I want to let you know that these sacrifices have not and will not go unnoticed. The thing about sacrifice is that you are giving up something now in the promise of something better in the future. It us up to each of you to make that promise a reality and continue impacting the world in a positive way. No class has ever had to go through what you have, but I also know that no class is better prepared to handle this challenge based on years of empirical data watching you meet and overcome all the challenges you have faced. I am so very proud of each of you, and I have a great deal of belief in this class which gives me hope for the future.
The list of accomplishments for this class is plentiful, and by any metric this has been a prolific class. As the Director of College Advising, I want to start with the fact that the Class of 2020 has 133 college acceptances. All of these colleges wanted you because they saw what I know – that this is a special class full of leaders and high achievers. While the number of acceptances is astounding, I truly believe that everyone has found a great fit for them at college. From the beginning of the college application process, this class has been very goal oriented and has approached this process with a macro view. You understood how your actions today would reap positive benefits in the future. This underscores the maturity that this class has displayed. When I first started this job three years ago, I read a Rice University study that said one of the primary factors for college success is being comfortable in your environment. I believe each of you has found the proper environment to go and continue to be successful. I have enjoyed reading your thoughtful and poignant college essays. On our college trip, you represented the school with grace and dignity. I have heard from numerous college admissions officers and representatives who have all been impressed by you. To a school, they have all enjoyed visiting Trinity and you. I still remember this past fall when our TCU representative, Dalton, stayed at school for almost two hours talking to the Class of 2020. I promise that this not normal. Usually, college representatives want to give their 20-minute presentation and move on to the next high school. This great impression that you have made on colleges ensures that they will keep coming back to Trinity in the hopes of finding more students like you.
I have always been impressed with the character and leadership of the Class of 2020. The leadership mantle of this class has been shared among all of you. Early on this school year, the Class of 2020 led our weekly chapel service to discuss bullying. You all took the stage together, and each of you talked about kindness and treating one another with respect. You made it clear that bullying has no place at Trinity and the world at large. Your words were powerful, and they were made more impactful because each of you spoke eloquently and from the heart. I absolutely loved that you acted as a group that day, and this event confirmed to me how special the Class of 2020 is. You were true leaders up on that stage that day. More importantly, you backed up your words with actions – you led our weekly chapel services throughout the year, you helped with carpool, you organized Family Day, and you held a an after-school dance with a crazy sock competition. The Class of 2020 has set a great example for our younger students, and I know they have been inspired by you.
The intellectual and academic growth of this class has been impressive to watch. Your teachers have all enjoyed having you in their classes. The teachers have universally expressed to me how this class was always ready to work and learn. I know I speak for all of your teachers in saying how much we will miss our class discussions with you. You were great in the classroom, but you were just as great outside of the classroom. You were instrumental in advancing many extracurricular and cocurricular clubs including the History Bowl team, mock trial, the robotics team, the drone club, the solar car team, and the student investment group. The Class of 2020 won numerous honors at the TAPPS Academic State Competition. In athletics, this class has been prolific. You were standouts in tennis, golf, basketball, football, volleyball, track, baseball, and cheer. You were leaders in all of these sports who earned numerous accolades at the district and state levels. Your volunteer efforts have been prodigious. This class has shown a true commitment to serving our community. The East Texas Food Bank has said that Trinity was the largest donor in terms of canned goods, and this is due to the efforts of the Class of 2020. On a personal note, I know that whenever I needed help with anything that I could count on the Class of 2020 to help me.
The University of Texas says, “What starts here changes the world.” SMU, my alma mater, says, “World Changers Shaped Here.” With all due respect to those great institutions of higher learning, the TST Class of 2020 has already begun changing the world. My charge to you is to continue changing the world in positive ways and realize your potential. It is not a stretch to say the world will not be the same after dealing with our current crisis. Currently, we are adapting daily to the changing world around us and reexamining old methodologies. You will have to be trailblazers and find innovative methods to adapt to these changes, and I am supremely confident that the Class of 2020 will be leaders in this process. I have already said how two of the defining characteristics of the Class of 2020 are leadership and work ethic. When your leaders are also your hardest workers, that is when we see real progress. My expectations for each of you are very high as is my confidence that you will surpass these expectations. I graduated from Trinity exactly 25 years ago, and I think everyone knows how proud I am to be a Trinity graduate. However, I’m even more proud to call each of you a Trinity graduate. You have left your mark on this school, and we will always remember the Class of 2020. Now, it is time to go make your mark on the world and make us even more proud. It is an honor for me to introduce the Trinity School of Texas Class of 2020. Congratulations!
Ranjit Kodali Director of College Advising