August 10, 2016

Dear Flint Hill School Families,

Welcome back! While the school year hasn’t quite begun, we are ramping up for what is certain to be another incredible year at Flint Hill.

I hope everyone has had a wonderful summer with a real chance to rest, relax, explore new places, connect with family and friends, and above all, enjoy this special time of the year that only summer can bring to all of us.

Personally, I have found myself cataloging this summer under the term “road trip.” While we had several road trips this summer, our biggest was a road trip we took in California. We picked up our six-year-old grandson, Henry, at his home just north of San Francisco, and drove him to Los Angeles so we could treat him to several days at Disneyland. The road trip we took followed Interstate 5, which went right through the center of California, and it was a fascinating journey. We saw first-hand all the dry conditions reported in the news. Signs about the severe drought were everywhere, and in several areas there were dust bowl conditions.

It was beautiful to see areas where there was water, like for the orchards and the farm areas for pistachio nuts, apricots, watermelons and a host of fruits. They seemed to go on for miles. We also saw, in complete contrast, mountains burned black from fires. We met the Los Angeles traffic and saw the pollution of the big city, and eventually reached the beautiful city of Anaheim and the full, active life that only Disneyland provides. I am sure many of you may have taken road trips this summer. Whether it was to visit with family and friends, go to the beach or quick day trips. Road trips are a part of the human experience and are filled with new sights and fun. They are an adventure all unto themselves.

At Flint Hill, we are about to embark together on a major “road trip” with our children as the school year begins. We have a map and a plan, and are aware of obstacles to watch out for during the journey. Our school calendar contains a host of activities and events that mark key highlights of the year, we have organized and prepared our classrooms for our students, and we have purchased supplies that will help us make this trip pleasantly. We have a sense of what this trip will look like for our students and for us as well. But as with any road trip, there will be surprises. There will be adventures that will come out of nowhere, and there will be struggles that cause us to grip the steering wheel a bit harder. There will also be moments when we will question what have we done, moments where we feel the pinch of fatigue, but generally we will experience the joy of making and capturing new memories. It will be a real adventure that we will all conquer together.

My best advice is to value the entire experience of the upcoming school year. I don’t want to sound trite, but as my wife, Emily, always says to me, “Just enjoy the journey!” We don’t always need to look ahead to the next step or the end. We should enjoy every moment, share with the others who are taking the trip with us, and look forward to getting to know all the new families who will join us this year. I encourage you to attend coffees, games, concerts, and special events throughout the year, and to get to know your children’s teachers, division directors, coaches, and everyone who will be working with you on this road trip. Their support and partnership will be invaluable as you go forward.

Let’s take pride and get excited about the journey we are about to take. We know that we are surrounded by like-minded folks who only want the best for their children. There will be lots of landmarks along the way, and there will be surprises. But at the end of the trip, we will all marvel at how quickly it went by. So hold onto your hats! I look forward to joining you on this road trip and hope you’ll hang on…because it is going to be quite a ride!

 

Best wishes to you!

Sincerely,

John M. Thomas
Headmaster