Superintendent shares 2017 Shaler Area graduate's letter to underclassmen
In his latest blog post, Mr. Aiken shares an open letter to underclassmen found in the iPad case of a 2017 Shaler Area graduate. "A Letter to Underclassmen" was posted on July 21 at shalerarea.edublogs.org.

Every now and then you come across a piece of information or a nugget of truth that is truly profound. This past week, we had just that experience. Sidni, a 2017 graduate of Shaler Area School District, penned a letter to her underclassmen classmates. She slipped a letter into her iPad case in hopes that someone would read it and pass it along. When we saw and read the letter, we were immediately struck by the wisdom, transparency, and compassion that resonated from within. We decided as a group that all students would benefit from this letter, so we reached out to Sidni in hopes that we would gain her permission to share her letter both on our website and my blog.

In my 5-minute conversation with Sidni, she seemed like a pleasant young lady with a bright future. I’m so proud that we are graduating students that are so prepared to make an influence in this world. Students like Sidni have the capacity to make a significant difference in whichever area they choose to pursue. We talk a great deal about “college and career readiness.” In my opinion, through reading this letter, Sidni is “life ready.” We appreciate her willingness to share her profound thoughts with her classmates and also for allowing us to share them with an even wider audience. Please enjoy this letter and make sure you share it with a friend or a classmate.
-Mr. Sean Aiken, Superintendent


Dear underclassmen,

I want to leave you with some advice that I wish I would have gotten when coming into high school:
  1. Respect your parents! –> Appreciate what they have to say; what they tell you is only based on experiences.
  2. Don’t be scared, get out of your comfort zone –> It’s time to grow & learn. If you don’t try new things you might regret it! GET INVOLVED!!
  3. Work Hard, Pay Attention. Your GPA follows you your whole life! –> If you work hard early it pays off Junior & Senior year, so study (or try to), skip out on going out with friends to finish an assignment so you don’t struggle later!
  4. With that, your GPA does not Define YOU! –> Balance is key –> You will need to learn how to make time for your friends, sports, school activities, and school work. (Good luck!)
  5. Sit in the student section @ football games, Got to Prom, Dress up for Spirit Week… Experience all that high school has to offer! –> These are the moments you won’t regret and should cherish!
  6. Make A Difference!! –> I cannot stress this enough; high school will shape you as a person, try to do things that count. Take time to give back to others – even if it’s in a small way. Make your time matter!
  7. Please, don’t stress about the things you cannot change. –> You will make mistakes. Sometimes things are out of your control. I’m here to tell you that’s okay! Losing friends is inevitable and sometimes for the better (TRUST ME). Move forward, and know that when things feel like they are going wrong, things can only get better.
  8. It’s okay if you are unsure of your career path! –> Explore your options and pursue your passions. The world is in front of you!
  9. Slow down. Enjoy your youth, and make the most out of high school! –> Before you know it, you’ll be in my shoes (2017 graduate): wondering where the time went as you stare at the graduation gown in your closet, preparing to walk the stage toward a new, unfamiliar beginning – Away from the comfort of Shaler Area High School.
*the graduating Class of 2017*


P.S. Good luck with your high school experiences. Hopefullly you get the ‘cool’ teachers!

Have Fun!

Attachments Available To Download:
Sidne's Letter to Underclassmen
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