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Open Letter to Class of 2025 - Dennis Van Roekel

Dear Class of 2025,

I can imagine your faces as you started kindergarten. The eagerness to begin school, the joy of walking through schoolhouse doors for the very first time. There is one member of your class who holds a very special place in my heart. His name is Mason Van Roekel – my youngest grandson.

I don’t want to alarm you – but it’s a long way from kindergarten until you graduate from high school. You are a class of incredible diversity and limitless opportunities, and along the way, there are so many things I want for you.
I want you to become life-long learners, always seeking new knowledge, because the world is going to keep changing and the challenges are immense. You should embrace learning, and not only to master content. It is very important for you to learn how to learn. In a world where information is everywhere, what matters is the ability to discern good information from bad.

And the careers? I can’t even fathom the work many of you will do. Technology — you’ve grown up using devices that I couldn't even imagine when I was a child. As you navigate through this changing world, I hope you maximize the potential of technology to revolutionize learning. And I hope you push yourselves to learn more and get better every day. Because America’s future is riding on you. Yes, it's a big responsibility, but there are millions of us – teachers and public school employees – invested in your success.

So to the four million energetic and creative learners in our kindergarten classrooms: May your days be filled with discovery and laughter, in search of knowledge and growth. For the students who believe they can achieve great things will be the students who will achieve great things!

Dennis Van Roekel
National Education Association