Good evening faculty and staff, parents, friends, and graduating

Commencement Speech Presented to the
Thousand Oaks High School Class of 2010
Good evening faculty and staff, parents, friends, and graduating seniors.
Congratulations students on your accomplishment and on behalf of the Thousand Oaks
High School faculty and staff, best wishes as you culminate your high school experience
and move on to your next endeavor. My hope is that you will each find a path through
life that leads you to accomplishing your life’s calling, while providing you the blessing
of a tight-knit family, and true friendships. I would also like to include your parents,
guardians, and family members in my congratulatory remarks as I understand so very
well how their support has played a role in your success and achievement.
Today marks a new beginning for our graduates as well as for several of our faculty
members who are, in a sense, graduating with this class and moving onto their next
phase of life - retirement. These six individuals combined, represent 191 years of
teaching experience that includes 143 years of service and dedication here at Thousand
Oaks High School. It is my honor to wish these six individuals the very best in their
retirement and remind them that they will be missed and remembered as part of our
Lancer staff. Would our retiring teachers please rise as I call your name and once I have
introduced all of these individuals please join me in acknowledging their commitment
to the children of our community: Mrs. Joyce Carraway, Mrs. Dianne Dunn, Mr. Jim
Farris, Mrs. Ellen Jackson, Mrs. Naomi Miles, and Mr. Jerry Morris. Thank you - you
have my admiration and heart felt gratitude.
As a parent, educator, and member of this community I would like to think that the
world that you, our graduates, will inherit from my generation will be as prosperous as
the one that we inherited, as peaceful as we can make it, and as perfect as I thought it to
be when I sat in your seat exactly 30 years ago today. That year was an election year
and that presented me with my first opportunity to cast a vote for the office of the
president of our great nation.
In November of 1980 I supported our own state’s former governor Ronald Reagan.
Known as the great communicator President Reagan is credited with many
accomplishments including his leadership in ending the cold war. For me personally,
he instilled a sense of pride and purpose that I had not previously known. Last month
it was my privilege to help chaperone the TOHS Junior/Senior prom which was held at
the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and I have to admit that instead of joining you
on the dance floor, I took that opportunity to visit President Reagan’s grave site, admire
that section of the Berlin wall the is placed adjacent to his grave, and read a bit of his
And so in acknowledging your many accomplishments and in verifying that each of
you has indeed completed the graduation requirements as set forth by the Conejo
Valley Unified School district, I would offer this quote, provided by our 40 th President ~
Ronald Wilson Reagan. And I quote:
“The American dream lives - not only in the hearts and minds of our own countrymen but in the
hearts and minds of millions of the world’s people in both free and oppressed societies who look to
us for leadership. As long as that dream lives, as long as we continue to defend it, America has a
future, and all mankind has reason to hope."
Today, as I look out at this graduating class I am filled with hope in the knowledge that
each of you is not only prepared but more importantly willing to take on whatever
challenges you may individually face or that we as a united people may encounter.
This community has high expectations for each of you and I know that the sky is the
limit as far as your collective and individual potential.
As you leave today remember that you will always have a home here at Thousand Oaks
High School. Know that you are accountable not only to your parents but to yourself,
and your classmates. Dream big dreams, make great decisions rooted in what is
RIGHT, do your part to make the world a better place for your generation and for the
future of our republic. Congratulations students and best wishes!
Lou Lichtl, Principal
June 10, 2010