Retiring Superintendent of Schools Elizabeth Feser took a page from her personal academic playbook Tuesday, June 12, to convey to the graduating class of 2018 at Foran High School the importance of learning from their experiences, including the mistakes.

Feser said that in her senior year of high school, she was failing pre-calculus and withdrew from the class with an “F” half-way through the year. Feser said she could do the math, but not in the time allotted.

“My mind couldn’t work fast enough,” Feser said.

That experience became one of her greatest learning experiences, Feser said, because it made her a better listener and gave her the ability throughout her career to relate to those who couldn’t learn as quickly.

“Learning from our experiences” — including the successes — is essential, she said.

The class of 2018 received diplomas on the school’s football field as parents, grandparents, siblings and others watched from the stands under bright skies.

Feser, known for her deep, meaningful speeches, told students to “determine the kind of person you wish to be,” in your heart and soul.

“We desperately need a kinder world,” Feser said, then telling students to develop courage to take chances.

Foran principal Max Berkowitz told students that graduation marks the beginning of a new day and “the best is yet to come.”

“You’ve worked diligently,” Berkowitz told the class, noting they should not “rest on your laurels,” but should work hard and continue to challenge themselves.

“The world needs you right now,” to step forward and fight for what’s right, he told students.

Senior class president Matthew Kennedy said every student in the class has “something to be proud of,” and going forward to keep in mind the words of President Barack Obama: “Don’t just get involved. Fight for your seat at the table. Better yet, fight for a seat at the head of the table.”

“There’s no cap on your individual success,” Kennedy told classmates.

The valedictorian was Geroan DeGuzman and the salutatorian was Sarah Kummer.