[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Dear Flint Hill School Families,

We are finally nearing the holiday season! I hope every one of you enjoys it as much as I do. This time of the year is actually my favorite time. I love the decorations, the lights, and all the things that suddenly come out of the attic and bring color and excitement to our homes. We celebrate Christmas in our family, and I love setting up my Santas around our home. In fact, the collection has grown so big, I can only display a few each year, or Emily will find a way for them to begin to disappear. I especially love the ones that move, talk, sing, or dance. And I love decorating the tree. Each ornament represents various places we have been in our lives, gifts from friends and family, and as I hang them, they provide a chance to think about wherever or whoever was associated with that particular ornament for a moment. Each holiday season is very special whether you are celebrating Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanza or any other festivity. I sincerely wish you and your family all the very best during this incredible season.

And as we go into it, I urge all of us to get offline. Unplug. Don’t keep checking our devices. If we can step away from work or other demands on our time, even for a few days, please do so. Find time to smile, to relax, to unwind, and time to truly value and cherish our families and friends.

The holiday season also always comes with a consistent push to reflect back on the past year as the new year approaches. We have started to hear in the news about what was the “Best Music of 2019.” What theater shows, movies, arts, pop stars, or athletes of the year would we pick. The list goes on and on about everything. Between now and the new year, we will be deluged at times by these reflections on this past year. There will be replays of major weather events, politics, and world events. And clearly, in our own personal lives, many of us will do our own reflection. What things happened in our family lives that were great successes? Or working through the memories of difficult and painful losses or situations. But all of it is about bringing 2019 to closure. Even as we think about Flint Hill in 2019, we can reflect on the incredible, powerful Momentum campaign that started last January, the new Peterson Middle School and the realignment of our Lower and Middle Schools. The physical change already in place in the Upper School and the plans in place for the future, all are products of 2019. We think about the success of our athletic teams and robotics. The individual achievements of our students at every grade level are worthy of reflection. The graduation of last year’s Senior Class and the strong start of this year’s Class of 2020 both came to mind. The tremendous start to this school year and all the achievements that have emanated from all our efforts this positive, exciting, and productive fall. All of it is bringing closure to that very eventful and jam-packed 2019.

And then we know we are going to be pushed on the concept of “resolutions” for next year. What are we looking forward to? What will we do differently? What will we do to improve ourselves? Our lives? The lives of others? What will we accomplish in the next year? And that list can go on and on as well. If we think about Flint Hill School, some of our resolutions are already waiting.

In 2020 we will:

  1. Bring the new Peterson Middle School building and the refresh of the Hazel Academic Building to life.
  2. Continue to foster and support the great working partnership with our parents to make this Flint Hill experience all that it can be on every level.
  3. Welcome new families to join us for the very intentional, deliberate, relevant, and dynamic educational experience we all work so hard to create.
  4. Complete the branding process that we have worked so hard on, and share the results with all of you as we move forward and firmly claim our position among our local independent schools.
  5. Prepare to initiate our next Strategic Planning process as our current plan was a 2015-2020 plan. It is incredible how much has been accomplished over those five years, and now it is time to look ahead for the next exciting step in our educational journey.

It is an amazing time of the year. Lots will swirl around us over the weeks ahead, but again, please focus on yourselves and your families. Make this a time of positive, spiritual, and reflective growth. Make it one of the very best ever on every level.

Best wishes for a joyous holiday season and an exciting new year ahead. We look forward to seeing you back in January 2020!! GO HUSKIES!

Best wishes to you!


John M. Thomas