“It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves.” This is a quote often attributed to the first person known to reach the summit of Mount Everest, mountaineer/explorer Sir Edmund Hillary.
John Beede, Laurel Springs School 2019 commencement speaker, told graduates they’ve reached a summit moment of their own. This “moment in the sky” provided a meaningful opportunity when students could look down on the work they’ve accomplished, celebrate, and take a snapshot of what still lies ahead. He spoke to approximately 60 members of Laurel Springs School’s Class of 2019 attending our graduation ceremony in Orlando on June 13, 2019,
Beede is no stranger to reaching great heights, having also scaled Mount Everest as well as the tallest mountain on every one of the planet’s continents. The global adventurer, author, and humanitarian excitedly told graduates he was happy to be with them. “You’re the kind of people who stand in awe of what the world has to offer, who don’t fit into cookie-cutter molds,” Beede said.
Although graduation often serves as a defining moment for students, Beede made it clear that it wasn’t this moment that would come to define their Laurel Springs experience. Rather, it would be what they went on to do next.
In a rousing inspirational address, Beede detailed the harrowing adventure of reaching the peak of Mount Everest while providing valuable motivational insights into how students can overcome challenges they are certain to face along life’s journey.
“The mountain will never lower itself to your level,” he said. “You must rise up to the demands presented to you by the climb.”
Mr. Beede also provided three common mistakes climbers often make, as well as solutions for not falling into the same rut.
Mistake #1 – Thinking you summited without help
Solution #1 – Thank your team, they made it possible
Mistake #2 – Believing critics and naysayers
Solution #2 – Thank those who help you improve
Mistake #3 – Not giving back what’s been given to you
Solution #3 – Thank those you serve. You earn your climb by giving back
As he concluded his remarks, Beede told graduates they belong to an important generation, one that realizes that in order to tackle the world’s problems and move forward, it must embrace kindness, compassion, and respect for all life. To best achieve their aspirations, he called on students to utilize their talents, passions, and education so they can dedicate their lives to a pursuit that makes the world come alive, because that’s truly what the world needs.
The commencement ceremony was just one of the events held during the three-day Year-End Celebrations. Other events included National Honor Society and Junior National Honor Society induction ceremony, as well as a pizza party social for all grade levels and our Upper School prom.
Laurel Springs School Guest Speakers
Laurel Springs strives to enhance the academic experience by inviting thoughtfully selected guest speakers to speak to our community routinely throughout the year. Read about some of the other inspiring guests who’ve shared their valuable insights with our school.