By Clare Davies, Director of Student Services – Pacific Grove Unified School District
On November 6, one of our PG students was presented with the Every Student Succeeding award during the Association of California School Administrators statewide conference in San Diego. Creighton Lee, 10th grader at PGHS, was selected to represent Region 10 (Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz counties) as a student who has achieved excellence by overcoming obstacles and exceeding expectations. Award recipients are selected as extraordinary examples of perseverance, dedication, maturity and grace.
Creighton was diagnosed with Autism as a toddler. He was honored for his involvement in sports, making the honor roll, earning 15 gold and 6 silver medals from Special Olympics, volunteering 392 hours of community service but most importantly for his 8th grade commencement speech of which he earned a standing ovation.
Please take a moment to read Creighton’s speech below which exemplifies the Pacific Grove community’s spirit and culture of acceptance, support and inclusion of our special students. Thank you Creighton for enriching our community, our lives and for representing our district so well!!! We are truly proud of you!
Good evening Mr. Roggeman, Mrs. Sanchez, teachers, staff, and to all my friends!
I am here tonight because I want to thank you for taking time out of your day to include me.
Thank you for your “Hi Creighton!”, “Bye Creighton!”, “What’s up, Creighton?”, smiles, high-fives, and knuckles as we pass each other in the hallways.
Thank you for hanging out with me while eating lunch, especially when you have invited me to your table, or sat with me, when I was alone.
Thank you for passing the ball to me in basketball or football. I always looked forward to lunch so that I could play with my friends.
Thank you for asking me if I am okay, asking me if I need help, or just standing next to me. We are more alike than different.
Thank you for coming up to me at the mall, movies, or around P.G., and saying “Hi!” It makes me happy to be included.
Thank you for sitting next to me at movie nights at the youth center and for dancing with me at all the dances. To you, it may be one dance but, to me, it made my night.
Thank you for an awesome 3 years and, for some of you, it has been 12 years! I am looking forward to P.G. High School! I’m not scared at all because I know I’m going with a great group of classmates who have always included me.
Thank you Mr. Roggeman, Mrs. Sanchez, teachers, staff, classmates, my friend’s parents for always making extra effort to include me. Don’t worry, I may be quiet at times, seem different, but, I know! All I want is for you to include me.