“Congratulations Seniors of 2022- From a Long Forgotten Teacher”




Although only a few of you went to Paulding Middle School in 2018, I felt the need to write a letter of congratulations to this graduating class. If you indeed went to Paulding Middle School and found yourself on Team 60 in the 7th grade or Middle School Leadership in 8th grade then you experienced Mr. Paterson as your teacher. This would be my last year in California before moving to Michigan and it was absolutely my favorite year of my career. We all know you aren’t supposed to have favorite kids, well I do. Right now it’s my son Teagan. He is two years old and has enough personality to have a late-night talk show. Tristan, my 7-month-old on the other hand, just started crawling and isn’t much of a conversationalist. The graduating class of 2022 were some of the best 8th graders I’ve ever had the pleasure to teach. They lived up to the classroom mantra I have posted all over my classroom and is wonderfully represented by the artist Michael Franti when we are told to just simply “work hard and be nice to people.” These students lifted the school around them while also challenging themselves to be great. They understood that as upperclassmen you set the tone for everyone beneath you. The projects we did in class were some of the best I’ve seen while their treatment of ALL students was always one of empathy and understanding. I don’t think it was a coincidence that my 7th graders for that year were also the best I’ve ever had. They saw a shining example in the year above them and they followed the path. I know that you all have been tasked with dealing with a lot more than high schoolers should have to navigate. The world is in a very strange place right now. However, never doubt your ability to change it and improve it. Life is a rollercoaster. It will constantly have ups and downs. Embrace it all, always be grateful, and remember that you are guaranteed a happy life as long as you “work hard and be nice.”

-Jordan Paterson (Mr. Paterson, Mr. P, Mr. Patty)