Dear Flint Hill School Families,
Believe it or not, we have finally reached the week for closing ceremonies. It seems like yesterday when we started orientations for this school year back on August 31. While it may sound trite to discuss how fast this year has gone by, it truly feels like it all happened in just seconds. We are at the end of one of the busiest years I can remember! However, we need to remember that regardless of the pace at which a school year goes by, each day is a major step in the lives of our great students. Closing ceremonies represent a significant milestone in the end-of-year transitions experienced by our students. Whether it is from Junior Kindergarten to Kindergarten, or from the completion of Senior year to colleges and universities, every step is important and deserves our attention and thoughtful respect.
When the school year starts, we all look forward to the various milestones that our students experience. These milestones represent their progress and highlight the various seasons of the year. Important dates and events like Homecoming, Thanksgiving, winter break, concerts, games and key events scattered throughout the calendar, always help us mark the passage and the accomplishments of any given year. This year, in particular, we experienced new things like Open Classroom visits in the Lower and Middle Schools, a strong focus on making learning more visible. We also made efforts to communicate more directly about our entire program school wide. In the Upper School, we hosted Open Forums for students and faculty to come together to talk about various issues. We have all felt a great deal of emotion and have seen the tremendous joy, excitement and pride from great accomplishments.
Each and every step helps us recognize the growth that is constantly happening. For example, if you have had a chance to look at the pictures of our students in this year’s yearbook, you may have noticed that in some cases, many of them look exactly the same today as they did back in September when school pictures were taken. In many other cases, however, our Huskies look very different today and you can see the physical changes that have taken place right before our eyes during the past nine months. You will also notice a change when you speak to our students. From the knowledge they have gained — the maturity, thoughtfulness, and ability to reason and think — and the ability to argue and challenge, we notice their growth and development as incredible young people. They have learned a great deal from this yearlong journey, through both their achievements and their mistakes. They have learned how to persevere, how to develop a level of resiliency and grit, and above all, I believe that our students have learned how to be humble, reflective and responsive.
We only have a few milestones left in this year: finishing exams in the Middle and Upper Schools; Seniors completing their Senior Projects; Field Day in the Lower School; the Middle School Closing Ceremony and Eighth Grade Promotion on Thursday; and the Lower and Upper School Closing Ceremonies, on Friday, will bring the majority of students to the beginning of summer vacation. Only Commencement Week activities remain next week for our 133 Seniors! We need to stand proud at this moment, and recognize that our Seniors have reached the end of a significant period in their lives and in our lives as well. Let’s never lose sight of the fact that the great progress we see in them also reflects on us as parents. As parents, we want only the best for our kids, and, as they change and grow, so do we.
As you may know by now, I love country music. There is a great song by Rascal Flatts, “My Wish.” The lyrics of this song have to do with the wish we have for the people we love and care about. As everyone comes to the end of this year, I hope we all have exciting summers planned, time to read lots of books and a focus on getting some rest, relaxation and time to gain new experiences.
Enjoy the closing ceremonies! Please realize that they are celebrations of a year well spent and another important step in the lives of our students going to the next level of their educational journeys.
Best wishes to you!
John M. Thomas