Dear Flint Hill School Families,
The crowds at last weekend’s Tip-Off Classic were some of the largest we have seen in many years. In fact, last Friday night, at the opening games, we were excited to see that the annual tradition of throwing toilet paper after the first basket had been scored, was now shared with the girls’ team as well as with the boys’. In fact, I noticed a player on the Highland School girls’ team watch in bewilderment when toilet paper came flying through the air as she walked down the court. It is a unique tradition that brings delight to the students on the team and to all the fans who gather in the corner of the gym.
As we get into the spirit of the winter sports, there will be plenty of opportunities this season to cheer on our Huskies. This year, we have Boys’ and Girls’ Basketball, Ice Hockey, Rock Climbing, Swimming and Indoor Track teams competing throughout the season. We hope that the spirit that we are all striving to build will be demonstrated by large turnouts for as many opportunities as possible. During the winter season, many events tend to occur late in the afternoon and into the night. We encourage our students to come out to support their peers, but when they do, they have to ensure that they behave appropriately. We want excitement. We want loud cheering. But above all, we want good sportsmanship. Our Director of Athletics Diana Parente published expectations this fall for students and parents to make sure that we are all in concert on this effort. It is just as important to honor our core values during athletic events as it is during the school day. It is the decent, right thing to do.
Speaking of decent, the funeral for former President George H. W. Bush was held today. Please join me in keeping his family and our country in our thoughts. Regardless of our politics, collectively, as a nation, we can respect and remember this decent, caring and compassionate man. All the accolades that have been in the news are strong indicators that he embodied his own “core values,” which can serve as reminders to all of us. I had the privilege of meeting him numerous times in Houston after he retired. Like so many, I have tons of “Bush” stories I could share. But the bottom line is that he was an authentic, gracious, committed man who always put others and service to others ahead of himself.
This season also comes with a variety of arts events here at school. There is a percussion concert this evening, and the next two weeks will bring concerts for orchestra, band and the Lower School. I hope to see large turnouts for all of them as we are here to cheer on and support all of our great students for the tremendous efforts that are underway.
If I can be helpful in any way as we move forward, please do not hesitate to call on me.
John M. Thomas
About the Headmaster
Since 2005, John Thomas has served as Flint Hill’s Headmaster. He is a graduate of the McDonogh School in Baltimore, Maryland, and holds degrees from Randolph Macon College and Towson University, with a certificate in school psychology from the State of Maryland. He is co-author of “Psychodiagnostic Evaluation of Children: A Casebook Approach,” and has articles published in the book “Parenting Teens: Collected Essays by Independent School Educators” published by the Secondary School Admission Test Board. John has served on the Board of Trustees for the Virginia Association of Independent Schools (VAIS) and the Association of Independent Schools of Greater Washington (AISGW), and is a current Board member for Emerging Scholars. He and his wife Emily, a former teacher, have three grown sons, three daughters-in-law and four grandchildren.
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