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Oakton High Graduates 576 in Class of 2012

When this year's graduating seniors take their next step in life, Richard Wormeli wants them to remember to build on the knowledge their parents, teachers, coaches and other mentors have offered them through the years. 

"If you all only learn what we teachers and parents know, civilization will grind to a halt. Our goal is that you will surpass us, not get equal to us," Wormeli said to the night. "... So please, oh please, transcend formulaic models. Mental agility, not conformity will put dinner on your table."

Wormeli — a National Board Certified Teacher, educational consultant and author of the award-winning book "Meet Me in the Middle" — also reminded graduates that while they soar to new heights, they must also reach back and help those who may be struggling. 

"[I]f you become a lawyer, could you spend some time at least doing legal aid work for those who cannot afford proper representation?" Wormeli said. "If you're a doctor, volunteer in a hospital that has very little equipment and even less hope. If you're a financial planner, offer a free class to families who are struggling to find their way. If you become homeless, volunteer to build other people's homes."

[Listen to Wormeli's entire speech in the media box above this article.]

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If you have photos from the event you'd like to share with Oakton Patch readers, please email Nicole.Trifone@patch.com or upload the photos yourself using the "Upload Photos and Videos" tab on this page. 

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