Dear Flint Hill School Families,
Friday was a very special day in our school calendar. We celebrated our annual Grandparents and Special Friends Day. It was a day for the generations to meet and learn together. Although, there were plenty of aunts, uncles, and other friends in attendance, the event was clearly dominated by grandparents. A number of them are local, but others had traveled some distance, with nine states and three countries represented in the group. The crowd began to gather early on that cool, rainy morning. Our visitors weren’t carrying backpacks or athletic bags; instead, they had plenty of coats and umbrellas to tackle the weather. This successful event was made possible with the help of an enormous group of parent volunteers, led by parent Sibel Unsal, and the Development, Admission and Facilities Offices. They all pitched in to make this an incredibly special day for everyone who joined us, and we are very grateful for that.
The gym was transformed into an elegant dining and entertainment space with round tables covered with pastel tablecloths, beautiful flower arrangements and plenty of space for grandparents to gather and reconnect. A number of grandparents shared that this was the seventh or eighth year attending this special day. As I welcomed everybody, I made it a point to say that while the special day was planned for them, it was truly about their grandchildren. One of the things I love hearing on this day are the special names that grandchildren have for their grandparents. Whether it is “Nana” or “Papa,” “Grandma” or “Granddad,” there is a special bond that grandchildren have with their grandparents by using that very unique and personal name. I also informed grandparents that since I was a grandparent myself, they could dispense with the “Mr. Thomas” or “John” for the day and just call me “Opa.” One of our kindergarteners, who was waiting to perform, heard me say that, and when he had a chance, he pulled me aside and said, “Did you say your name was John?” “Yes,” I answered. He replied, “My fish’s name is John!” I told him that I was pleased to hear that, and he was quite proud that he could go back and share with his fish that he had the same name as the Headmaster of his school!
The music performances were incredible. Our students have an amazing talent, led by the superb faculty and staff that work with them each and every day. From singing and dancing, to drums and percussion, it all made for a perfect start to the day. Once grandparents and special friends traveled to the classrooms, they became quickly immersed in all kinds of different projects at the various grade levels. Some were asked to do oral histories in History and Drama classes. Others learned how to play the drums in Alecia Cardell’s class. Another group participated in a game of Jeopardy based on geography facts and finding the locations of various countries. Others created videos and movies with their grandchildren. One Math class used dice and cards to solve math problems. As I walked by, I heard the cheers and excitement from both students and grandparents, as they raced to solve problems before other teams. The students enjoyed the time to bond with their guests and enjoy a great time together.
At the end of the day, many of our visitors did not want to leave, and there were a few tears from grandchildren who, mutually, didn’t want their grandparents or specials friends to leave. There was no shortage of hugs, kisses and best wishes. The day was full and active, and one more visible testament to why we truly are a school family.
I hope everyone who was able to visit had a wonderful Mother’s Day over the weekend. And to all our Flint Hill mothers, belated best wishes to you and thank you for all the love and the care you provide to our students and to our school each and every day. Have a super week ahead! We can now begin to look forward to next year’s Grandparents and Special Friends Day.
And please keep an eye on the School calendar for upcoming concerts, games, and special events. Last night’s Middle School Percussion Concert was outstanding, and Varsity Girls’ Softball and Varsity Boys’ Baseball each clinched a share of their Conference Title with their wins yesterday. And this weekend, please join us for the Lower School Family Fun Fair for Stop Hunger on the Lower and Middle School Campus. Flint Hill never rests! GO HUSKIES!!
Best wishes to you!
John M. Thomas