Beginnings and Endings

  • Head's Note
Tobin Bechtel

On Wednesday, over 30 new families came to our New Family Orientation — a new beginning with excitement about joining our community. Everything is new, from the playground to discovering what classes and activities we have to engage them on their learning journey. On Thursday, our Grade 12s started their series of final senior events celebrating their work with a Board reception and thesis symposium. The symposium is an opportunity for seniors to share their work with the community, the fruition of research and writing a college-level paper that they have defended before faculty. Families, friends and faculty celebrate this work as they also finish their internships and move towards graduation. The difference between beginning and ending seems somewhat similar in the excitement it brings even with the wealth of experience gained between these bookends.

I am always impressed by the engagement of our students and families at our school. As a father of three plus an extended family, I easily empathize with the juggling of multiple schedules and commitments needed to actually arrive at events after an already long day. I appreciate all the smiles, the compliments, the best wishes, suggestions and constructive questions that come my way during these events. This caring engagement is so important to our success as it is at the core of the partnership we have with our families to provide a successful education. What we commit to in coming to events, volunteering, helping with homework, and supporting their efforts is setting the norms for their engagement now and in the future. I know the commitment it takes to come to end of year and service events, service, games, and performances and I see the positive impact it has for our students. I agree with Coretta Scott King that "The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members." 

Compassionate action comes in many forms. I continually remind myself that our children are always watching and learning from our words and actions, whether it models our intent or not.  If we discuss our successes and mistakes with our children it can help model for them that our expectations are high and we learn from every experience. We also model for them through our engagement with our community, by showing up and participating. So thank you to all our families for your commitment to our values and engagement with our community, especially as we approach the ending of our year together.

  • head's note
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