RHS 2014 Graduation Speech
On Tuesday, June 10, 2014, there was a shooting at Reynolds High School in Troutdale, Oregon. Emilio Hoffman, a freshman, was killed when he came upon the shooter in the locker room. PE teacher Todd Rispler was grazed by a bullet when he went to alert the rest of the school of the presence of the gunman. The gunman, also a student at Reynolds, killed himself after a standoff with the police. During the tragic events of the day and in the days after, the faculty and students were exemplary in their response. Reynolds is my alma mater. While I haven’t lived in Troutdale since I was 18, the impact of the shooting was immediate and deeply felt. On June 12, I was honored–and a bit overwhelmed–to give the commencement address at Reynold’s graduation ceremony. It was a challenging speech to write in light of the events of that week. But I was proud of and humbled by the Reynolds community, faculty, and students. And my gratitude goes out to Teresa Osborne and Emily Moore-Coon who invited me to speak. You can watch my address on the Oregon Live website.