Welcome to 2024: Principal David Ruggiero’s message to students

From walkmans and yo-yos to Chat GPT and Mr Beast* – we are living in a time of rapid change. And with that change comes a responsibility to make the world a better place.

That was the message from Principal David Ruggiero at today’s first R-12 assembly for 2024.

“I was cleaning out my shed recently and in there I found a box with a number of items from the ’80s,” Mr Ruggiero told the assembly.

“In that box was my Sony Walkman (complete with the cassingle of MC’s Hammer’s You Can’t Touch This), my yo-yo collection. Unfortunately, my Star Wars figurines are not in their boxes … if only I had kept them all, who would have needed a ticket in X lotto.

“They were symbols for me of the ’80s, of my childhood, of growing up. And we all have things that are iconic to our generation.

“You guys are part of Generation Alpha. Staggeringly, by the time we reach 2035, you will be the most significant population in the history of the world.

“Never before will there have been a generation of over two billion people – and you will be part of that.”

Mr Ruggiero said, for Generation Alpha in particular, the pace of change in the world was momentous.

“The change you are experiencing is far greater than any change I went through at the same age,” he said.

“But amongst these magnificent technological advances, the reality is some things don’t change.

“The way respect each other, the way we need to care for each other.

“The way you use your gifts to ensure that in your generation of over two billion people, there are not people going hungry, there is no racism, or sexism. That you are making the world better, that you’re improving on the mistakes of my generation and changing the world around you.”

The antidote to fear

Mr Ruggerio said during times of rapid changes, there was inevitably some trepidation.

“The antidote to fear is our faith, and that has never changed,” he said.

“That sense that there is something greater than you. Your relationship with God and with each other and the world around you is critical, and that won’t shift.

“So, go in there today and give it your very best … so that you help this advancement in society. So that you can make things better. Do something that makes this world better for having known you.”

  • Disclaimer: The Generation X author of this article had never heard of Mr Beast until today. Apparently he’s very popular on You Tube!

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