Navigating Transitions

5 Leadership Lessons I Learned from a High School Graduate

As an educational leader, one of my favorite times is the end of the school year, when students graduate! Graduation is a special day in every student’s life.


Students are beaming and the campus is buzzing with excitement. Family and friends come together to celebrate the accomplishments of the graduate.

Senior year is a time of transition. Students have studied and prepared for three years to become a “big fish in a little pond.” Throughout the year, the sense of anticipation builds and seniors become more distracted as the big day comes closer. Students spend their class time daydreaming about life after graduation…

A conversation with an amazing senior reminded me of just how much growth takes place navigating transitions during the high school years.

I remember when she arrived on our campus as a freshman. While she was smiling and excited to be in high school, beyond the smile there was fear in her eyes. Her mind was filled with questions on how the next four years would progress.

She shared with me how she felt the first time she walked into the cafeteria. The sights and sounds where overwhelming. As she navigated her way through the lunch line, she searched to find a friendly face. Over the next four years, she blossomed as her ambition and determination to strive for excellence grew.

How do we leaders prepare for and grow from the transitions in our lives?

During our conversation, she shared the highs and lows of her high school journey. As I listened to her I realized there were five leadership lesson’s to be learned through my student’s experience.

  1. Be true to yourself
  2. Purse your goals with passion
  3. Be willing to fail
  4. Own your mistakes but don’t allow them to define you
  5. Growth begins at the end of your comfort zone

As the senior educational leader on campus, I watch our students overcome adversity and excel in academics, athletics, and community service. Graduation is the platform to celebrate their journey.

As a leader, how are you navigating life’s transitions?

Your friend,

Dr. Kim Moore

Kim d. moore

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