On behalf of the Woodburn School District, Superintendent Chuck Ransom congratulates and gives advice to the Class of 2017.

On behalf of the Woodburn School District, we would like to congratulate the Class of 2017. On a personal note, I'd like to send our graduating seniors off with a few thoughts as they leave our school district to continue their education, or join the workforce.

You have value.

The past few years have been difficult for our nation politically. For our students, the dialogue about immigration has been divisive and has many concerned about their safety and future in this country. I want you to know that each and every one of you has value and something to contribute to America. Many people in this country recognize that fact, and are willing to support you. Reach out when you are feeling uncertain. We are here to help.

You have a responsibility.

Graduation is one of many significant milestones in your life. Along with every accomplishment comes great responsibility. Help others when they need it. Give back to and get involved in the community that has helped you get to this point, as well as the future ones where you will settle. Register and vote in every election. Regardless of your politics, run for a local, state or federal office and speak up. This is how we affect positive change in a democratic society.

You will be missed.

This is a bittersweet time for many of us at the Woodburn School District. We have seen many of you grow up while in our care. Know that when you leave, you are not forgotten. Come back and visit and share your successes.

Remember public education.

Public education is a critical service that this country offers to all school-aged children. However, we do much more than just educate those in our care. Public schools provide health and nutritional services, shelter, after-school and weekend programs, college and career-ready services, and mentoring to get you where you are today. As you continue through life, advocate for our public schools.

On a final note, we want to thank the Woodburn community for supporting our public schools. The success of our students is something in which you can share and be proud.

Chuck Ransom is superintendent of Woodburn School District. He can be reached at 503-981-2727 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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