Our opinion: Alumni event a chance to dream of what could be

Published 6:30 am Wednesday, September 29, 2021

It’s homecoming week for Austin Public Schools and we’re halfway to the big game on Friday evening between the Austin Packers and Rochester Century Panthers, where the Packers hope to pick up their first win of the year.

Throughout school districts in the nation, homecoming is one of the most anticipated milestones in the school experience. Filled with fun and pageantry, homecoming is an opportunity to share and celebrate school pride.

One of the ways that Austin celebrates this is through the honoring of distinguished alumni. Each year, the selection committee selects two or sometimes three people who graduated from AHS and went on to do great things, whether that be in their field or through their community — oftentimes both at the same time.

This year, Austin will celebrate Terry Placek and Michael Ruzek during an all-school assembly on Thursday. At this event, students will hear from the alumni themselves and we would argue that this assembly is just as important as any other.

This is a chance to inspire. A chance for students to see first-hand what hard work and dedication look like on the way to succeed.

Students need to hear these stories and they need to hear them from the people themselves. It’s one thing to read about people who accomplish great things in books, or to write about them in papers. But to hear it first hand is to hear the conviction in their voices, the drive that pushed them to be great.

This is a reflection on the school, yes, but its also a reflection on people excelling to be more than maybe even they thought.

For a student to hear these stories is the opportunity to tend the flame of their own drive and perhaps even spark an idea that will one day have future students hearing their story.