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  • Writer's pictureHawraa Zakery

Principal's End of the Year Speech

Principal's End of the Year Speech

One famous speech began with “I have a dream”,

Well this speech is not so famous but begins with “ a dream”!

Ten years ago a parent decides to pay his khums to the center and have a condition that it should only go toward educating Muslim children in the community. I do not know how much that money was, but it led to educating 100s of students. Now 10 years later some of those students are teachers with us. A dream of a father, who is in fact present with us, led to not only educating your children, but transforming community members to experienced teachers, volunteers and staff who care for your children as much as you do as a parent.

So there was a dream, and I can assure people who initiated his effort, and those who transformed school from traditional classes to an educational entity, that your hard work, your money and your effort is paying back every time these kids pray, fast, recite Quran and even when they grow up to be a successful Shia citizen of America.

So if you have a dream, if you want to change people’s life for good, hold on to that dream tight and find like minded people to help you make your dream come true. And what dream is better than raising happy and successful believers?

Now, I want to start our end of the year celebration by thanking a few groups of people:

Parents, I want to thank you for bringing your children to our school and trusting us with their faith. All of you did have other options, yet you picked this team to help you with the most important responsibility you have which is to raise a believer. So we appreciate your trust in us. Also I want to thank you for raising such an amazing group of young people that sit among us today.

Staff : This is not just for our classroom teachers that have taught these students, but it is about the collective effort of ALL of you. Everyone, from the office manager, to other assistants and volunteers in the school believe in always doing what is best for the students.

Teachers: May 7th was Teachers Day, although I sent my gratitude to teachers, I like to take it upon myself to thanks our wonderful teachers and their assistants again of behalf of all of us here today. Without question, teachers shape the minds of our children and, thus, their futures. It is nearly impossible to capture the gratitude they deserve. Yet, I feel obligated to highlight the amazingness of our teachers by name.

  • Brother Ahmad, and Brother Muhammad, every Saturday I see how you two lead your class with much wisdom, and your teaching style, that's based on connecting with our students, has helped them grow and learn, for that I thank you both!

  • Sister Asma, you are the newest member of our team, yet, in such short period of time, you have captured the heart of our girls, and for that, I thank you!

  • Sister Zaina, I won't be exaggerating if I say your class LOVES you as you are one of the most caring people I have seen, and for that I thank you!

  • Brother Faisal and Sister Malak, you two make a great team. Malak, I have seen how much value you add to your class with your nice smile and hard work. And Faisal, I have witnessed your transformation from a community member to a likable teacher that kids cannot get enough of, and for that I thank you both!

  • Sister Ibtisam and Brother Ali Naqi , your team is one of a kind. Ibtisam your calm nature and motherly kindness makes children comfortable with you. And Ali Naqi , your endless energy has made this class so alive and energized, and for such great work I thank you both!

  • Sister Fatimeh, you bring so much knowledge and patience to the class with you every week, which cannot be appreciated with any words, yet I thank you!

  • Sister Asyeh, Sister Huda, Sister Hamida and Brother Moqset: you all, as Quran teachers, helped our children learn and connect with Muslims’ most valuable resource, the Quran. With your experience, dedication, kindness, patience, and knowledge, our boys and girls have gotten closer to their Allah, and for being so impactful, I don’t just thank you, I envy you!

As our beloved Prophet said: The best of you are those who learn the Quran and teach it.

Students, Although you are registered as student, let me tell you a secret, you are the best teacher for all of us. As an adult, I can tell you I have learned to be forgiving from you. You might have a lot of disagreement with classmates, yet you do not let that take a way friendship and fun times.

I also learned to have a free spirit and be simple as I see you walking to your classroom carrying no pen or book. Yes, that is not an image of the most prepared student, it surely is an image of a person who feels safe to make mistakes. Every Saturday that you come to school smiling and being happy, you changed my day for better and that's when I learned to always smile and be positive, as we never know how that might change the mood of the person next to us. And more importantly how you react to us as adults, tells us what works and what does not work, so technically you the students have taught us so many life lesson as we tried to teach you your religion.

So don't you dare think being student is not important. Because it is very very valuable.

Also you should know that your moms and dads are very proud of you today. They have high hopes for you, and they believe in you. Take a look at them now, and you can see them smiling and snapping photos so they can record this moment forever.

Today is an important day for you and for them. Today they are very, very proud of you. Today would be a good day to ask for money.

And here is some advice:

First, stop texting your friend about how you wish the speaker would hurry up and finish talking so you could go eat, oh wait, you can't eat yet.

Secondly, I ask you to keep your connection with good friends you made in your community, as our beloved Prophet said: One follows the religion of his friends.

And, Appreciate days off, because in no time you are all back here with us.

I'll leave you with this final quote, from my favorite: Dr. Seuss.

"You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. You are the guy who'll decide where to go."

As the principal of our school, I envy the opportunities you all have to do what all the prophets and Imams are sent to do, and that is to teach and to learn. Indeed you are shaping and influencing the future of our American Shia community.

And I hope your influence will not be limited to these walls, and I do not mean the walls that our president is planning to build.

May all our hard work, help us become better Shia Muslims, InshaAllah

I look forward to seeing you all in August.

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