June 5, 2019

Dear Flint Hill School Families,

The Closing Ceremonies last week were fun, exciting, and gave us a chance to bring this most productive year to a successful conclusion. Closings are always positive and uplifting, and yet while they are joyous, there can also be some moments of pain and even some tears. Some students in the Lower School were upset that the year was coming to an end. Other students were sad to say goodbye to friends who may be moving away or sad about teachers who are leaving or retiring. All of this reflects the journey of life, and such transitions can be thought provoking and emotional. But these moments do allow us to bring closure to one adventure, as we also look ahead to the next.

In all three divisions, there were comments made by the division directors and others that were thoughtful and insightful. These words of wisdom either highlighted things that have had an impact throughout the school year or were thoughts to consider, as we go into the summer months. That theme of being thoughtful, mindful, and helpful is worth of our attention at any age. It allows everyone to stop and reflect on our relationships with each other, our hard work, our plans for the future, and how we best can grow as individuals.

Some of the talking points were key. Some came directly from the Middle School Code of Conduct, some came from favorite quotes or concepts that are inspirational for all of us, and some came as a natural reflection of growing up, and how summertime, while away from school and classes, is a time of enormous growth and development for us as individuals. We never stop interacting with others. We never stop learning and being a part of the lives of other people. In fact, some of the comments and concepts shared may be worth all of us considering over the summer and even put to use in those conversations that I always urge us to have with our kids. And, if we are ever at a loss for words, these would be tremendous “prompts” to share. Ask them, “So what do you think?” Let’s never lose sight of the fact that the best teachers children will ever have are us as parents. We are genuinely teaching every minute of every day. We are in contact with our great children continually and the impact we will have is profound. I share with faculty frequently that some of the best parenting that goes on is in the relationship between student and teacher. Our roles are very much linked, and that is part of the excitement of being in our school family.

Here are some of the quotes and lines that stood out to me over those three Closing Ceremonies. Try them on for your consideration, and maybe use them for a conversation out on the patio, by the pool, or in the drive to the grocery store with your children.

  • “Strive for your best, not perfection.”
  • “Be the change you want to see in the world.”
  • “Be kind and respectful towards others.”
  • “When you judge another…you do not define them, you define yourself.”
  • “Be responsible for your actions.”
  • “Each of us strengthens all of us.”

 

And a favorite line that Mr. Reed in the Upper School often shares with his students and with the faculty is, “Starve your distractions, feed your focus.”

Faculty are now in professional development meetings for the next week. Seniors had their Senior Dinner on Monday evening, had their prom last night, and are ready for their very positive Commencement. Your support and help throughout this entire school year has made this one of the most eventful, productive, and powerful school years. As we go into the summer, I wish every person all the very best in the exciting weeks and months ahead. Cherish each moment with our children and take full delight in the additional time that summer now offers us.

Best wishes to you!

Sincerely,

John M. Thomas
Headmaster