April 26, 2017

Dear Flint Hill School Family,

There is a lot of energy in the air! At times it can feel like swimming against the current in a fast-moving river. It is all exciting, and there are lots of things to learn and experience, but we are moving at a pace that can be hard to put into words. While it may all look very easy at times, the reality is that all of these activities and offerings are the result of hard work and deliberate planning. Still, we know that life is full of surprises and that, sometimes, it’s far more important just to make your best effort and learn from your mistakes. This attitude can make all the difference in the world on some days.

The past week and the weeks ahead include many examples of Flint Hill’s dynamic pace. Earlier this week, alumna Cara Peterson `10 returned to campus to speak to Upper School students. She has an amazing life story to share, and her advice was powerful and poignant for students who are currently navigating the stresses of balancing their schedules and looking ahead to college. Last week’s Arts Jam Concert at George Mason University could not have been more spectacular with more than 160 students participating! Then, last Friday, our Upper School hosted their version of the “Color Games” as an effort to have some fun and enjoy a beautiful afternoon. This event was followed by a Faculty Appreciation Lunch, planned and hosted by our Parents’ Association. That same evening, we had our Upper School Springfest Dance before heading into Saturday’s Springfest, which was the coldest (and likely, soggiest) we have ever had.

The rain kept a steady drizzle all day, but our volunteers, student-athletes, coaches and families persevered. On Sunday, we started our Five-Year Interim Visit from the Virginia Association of Independent Schools (VAIS). Four great educators from around the state joined us to provide their insights and reflections on our internal assessments of the various programs and events that faculty have worked on for the past year. On Monday, we celebrated the opening of the Upper School Visual Art Show, which has the Upper School jam-packed with visual art produced by our talented students. At the end of this week, we have the opening weekend for the Upper School musical, “Mary Poppins.” Tonight we have the Honor Society inductions for the Upper School, and soon, our fourth-graders will leave for the annual Williamsburg/Jamestown overnight trip.

Looking ahead, we have the Lower School Engineering Night, Senior Day, Reunion Weekend, Middle School concerts and the Grade 8 Service Fair! Are you tired yet? There is an amazing array of activities and events that challenge all of us, but life is not an easy journey that always fits neatly into a strict schedule. Life is just like this – an endless array of choices. It challenges our perspective, forces us to make decisions and judgments regarding what we can and cannot do, and requires us to find ways to keep our energy up, stay focused, and charge ahead with a positive attitude.

If I started to make a list of what is even further ahead, it would just make you dizzy, but trust that it is our responsibility to make it happen in a way that doesn’t overwhelm people. We are constantly taking great pride as we cheer on our youngsters and watch our Huskies go through this growth process. And like good Huskies, we know that none of this can happen because of just one person. WE are a TEAM!! Please join me in thanking the endless list of faculty, staff and parents who step up time and time again to make it all happen.

If I can help in any way possible as we go forward, please do not hesitate to call on me.

Sincerely,

John M. Thomas
Headmaster