January 3, 2018

Dear Flint Hill School Families,

Welcome back! I hope that everyone had a tremendous holiday break and that it was everything you wanted it to be. If you experienced the time away like our students, I hope you took full advantage of every minute. As always, the break seemed to race by too quickly. For Emily and me, we had the chance to visit with friends from our previous life back in Texas for a few days. When we returned, we hosted our five-year-old grandchildren for Christmas. There is something special about watching the joy of young children as they suddenly sneak down the stairs looking for Santa, and then eye the accumulated gifts under the Christmas tree. Their facial expressions were something to behold! Overall, it was an exciting and very positive break full of new memories, which I hope, you made as well.

As the new year approached, the traditional focus on resolutions probably entered your thinking as well. Over the years, we all have made resolutions that we failed to keep. They could have been about eating better, losing weight, getting more exercise, you name it.  However, this year, I ask all of us, to think about resolutions that we can make together that will set us all up for success. Here are three I’d like to share with you:

  1. Make the children/students our priority. We say all the time at Flint Hill that we are a “student-centered” school. And as parents, we always have our children as our primary focus. But this doesn’t mean giving in to everything they ask for or making them the center of attention at all times. Instead, they should be the focus of meaningful attention. We need to make sure that they are getting educated — well educated. That they are pushing themselves to do better and are held to high standards. We want them to begin to learn and internalize not only our four core values but also resilience, courage, empathy, poise and manners. Those traits don’t just happen. They are instilled in us by the adults in our lives who influence our behaviors and values.
  2. Challenge ourselves. Now, this area may be where we can fit in watching what we eat, getting more exercise, etc. But whatever we do, let’s focus on the challenge of becoming better people. We should be ever mindful of how we interact with and support one another. We should be engaged in what is happening at school, from attending an event you’ve never attended before or reaching out to your child’s teacher or another family in your child’s grade. We are all busy and taking these steps might put us outside of our comfort zones, but our community is only as strong as the sum of its parts.
  3. Be Kind. Enough said!

2018 is going to be another tremendous year with a great Senior class leading the way along with our incredible faculty, staff, Board of Trustees and Parents’ Association Board! We have a lot of great things coming up in the weeks ahead. In fact, tomorrow night, a number of our college-age alumni will be on the Upper School Campus to share their experiences in college. You are welcome to join us for this annual event. And before we know it, we will be talking about Winterfest and all of the great things to come. Please make sure to read this weekly newsletter, check our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts, attend our Parent Coffees. Let’s commit to making a true effort to be “student-centered,” keep challenging ourselves as adults and as parents, and above all, to be kind.
Best wishes to you, and please stay warm during the frigid days ahead!

Sincerely,

John M. Thomas
Headmaster