May 23, 2018

Dear Flint Hill Families,

We are at that unusual time of the year when we are continually working on the present, while also looking ahead to next year. We are also given the opportunity to reflect on the journey we’ve taken during this academic year.

This spring, in particular, has had a constant rhythm of activities and events that reflect this process. We recently hosted a reception for new families that will join us next year. Then we held Reunion Weekend when alumni came back to campus to reminisce and reflect on the Flint Hill that they knew in the past. And now, we are getting ready for closing ceremonies, Commencement and saying goodbye to departing families and faculty.

Last week, the Parents’ Association (PA) had its final dinner of the year to celebrate all that they have accomplished this year on behalf of the School.  It also provided an opportunity to thank current PA President Sharon McBride for her leadership throughout this hectic and exciting year. At the beginning of this week, we hosted the “Pass the Baton” meeting, during which incoming parent representatives were given their first taste of the very important roles they will take on next school year.  As you can see, there is this constant awareness of the present, past and future that exists in our daily lives.

The ability to learn from the past and focus on what needs to be done in the future is an exciting balancing act. We know all too well that time flies by, but the experiences we all have over the course of our lives — positive or negative — are gifts. Who is it that once said, “The days are long, but the years are short?” I still have Grandparents Day on my mind from a couple of weeks ago, and it is always a day that brings that perspective into better focus for me. Grandparents are always looking ahead. We are acutely aware of the passage of time because we’ve experienced it deeply. In what feels like seconds, we’ve gone from holding our own children in our arms to watching their children learn and grow at schools like Flint Hill. We want our grandchildren on the right path and expect their communities (including their parents and schools) to support that.

I received a note this week that touched on this very topic and would like to share with you. It was handwritten and from a young lady who graduated in 2009. She was an exceptional young lady full of energy and life. She was hardworking, committed and a true Husky! She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia in 2013 and completed her medical degree there just last weekend.

Her note read:

“As a student of the UVA graduating Class of 2013, I find that many of my transformative experiences occurred within the halls of Flint Hill. Now as I am nearing graduation from medical school, it is obvious to me that the relationships with those instructors at Flint Hill were invaluable for my growth and development into the person I am today. Without the support and inspiration and drive that was instilled in me at Flint Hill, through teachers that cared immensely about my success, I would not be where I am today… about to receive a degree of Doctor of Medicine.”

Ultimately, that’s what this is all about! This incredible adventure that we call Flint Hill. It is about getting our students/children ready for the world that they are going to inhabit. Much of that will require all of us, from time to time, to look back, to look ahead, and to live each moment with an energy and a passion that makes it personal and meaningful and one that brings value to all that we do.

Hold tight for the next couple of weeks. There are some exciting things ahead. I look forward to seeing you at all the amazing events to come.

Best wishes to you!

Sincerely,

John M. Thomas
Headmaster