Dear Flint Hill School Families,
It is hard to believe we are less than a week away from Thanksgiving Break. This time of year always reminds me that we should step back and be grateful for everything we have in our lives. The whole idea of Thanksgiving is to gather with our families and friends to celebrate and be thankful for each other. But this gratitude is a remarkable feeling to keep in mind at all times. We should appreciate what others do. We need to respect and value things that bring joy to our lives and the opportunities that come before us — all year round. So often in our daily rush, we take things for granted and don’t make the time to say “thank you” for some of the things happening around us. Sometimes I hear people compliment Flint Hill by saying that so many of our events and activities appear to occur effortlessly. We are so fortunate to have great things happening at all times here, and yet, we all know that behind every “effortless” event, there is an enormous amount of hard work and planning that takes place among our teachers, coaches, parents, students, and staff, and the list goes on and on. So let’s take a moment here, at this critical point in our year, to share our gratitude.
As a school family, here are some key things to consider, as we reflect on how grateful we should be for being a part of this wonderful community:
- Veterans. To all of the veterans in our parent body, our grandparents, and our faculty and staff members who have served our great country, please know how grateful we are for all that you have sacrificed and all that you did to make that commitment. Your patriotism, determination, hard work, and willingness to step forward is something we value every day, not only on Veteran’s Day. Please know how much we appreciate the example that you set for all of us.
- Holiday Shoppes. It was an incredible day, and yet it took months of work behind the scenes to bring to fruition. Special thanks go to our Co-chairs Alex Shumway, Karen Sparks, Andrea Stygar, and Diane and George Stamatelatos who led an army of volunteers and an incredible array of vendors to make this event one of the signature moments in the school year. In addition to the incredible financial success of the day, the community-building that this day provided was outstanding! Would you be surprised to know that attendance at the Parents of Alumni Luncheon that was held during Holiday Shoppes doubled in number from last year? It was great to see so many former parents come back to campus to shop and catch up with old friends.
For the second year in a row, we were able to live stream both the volleyball state championship and the football game that took place in the afternoon, adding to the unique feeling of the day. I know that Norfolk Academy parents appreciated the chance to partake in the Holiday Shoppes, at half-time. Our Director of Athletics Diana Parente shared that during her recent contact with Benedictine College Preparatory School (our opponent for this Saturday’s State Championship) she was asked explicitly if the Holiday Shoppes would be open this weekend. Apparently, word has reached Richmond that we host an event that is not to be missed! Again, we thank everyone who took part in making that day so special.
- Fall Athletics. This season has been one of our best ever. We are about to end the season on a high note for all of our teams, which represented Flint Hill with tremendous pride, dedication and teamwork. Our Varsity Girls’ Soccer team won a dramatic championship on the turf last weekend, despite sub-40-degree temperatures and steady rain; the Varsity Volleyball team won its 9th state championship in 11 years, and the undefeated Varsity Football team is one game away from winning the second state championship for in School history. Everyone is invited to join us, on Saturday at 1:00 p.m., to cheer on these amazing Huskies! We are grateful to all of our outstanding coaches and student-athletes for what they have done to make this season a unique moment for Flint Hill. It will truly go down in history as one of the very best.
- Faculty. We all just finished parent-teacher conferences, so you know how strong our faculty members are. This year, we had to extend conference days because we had so many parents who wanted the opportunity to meet with all of the teachers. The faculty here at Flint Hill are of the highest caliber and are committed to doing what is in the best interest of your children. Their hard work, determination, professionalism and energy bring our Driving Spirit to life every day! Whenever you see them, please take time to thank them for what they bring to this great school.
- And finally our entire school family. We are a team. We are partners. This success we are experiencing doesn’t happen in a vacuum or by chance. It isn’t done by one person, one group, one event. It is a constant, ongoing process. Just as we will gather with many of our personal family members for Thanksgiving, collectively, we should thank each other for being part of something extraordinary. We can be open, honest and direct with each other. But we also know that we are all still striving to get better, and that together, we will make a huge difference in the lives of your great students.
Thank you to each and every one of you for helping get this school year off to such an outstanding start! Our cup of gratitude indeed is running over!! In addition to Saturday’s state championship football game, please try to join us this weekend for our annual production of “The Nutcracker” this weekend. Student-performers from all three divisions will bring this magical tale to life on Friday and Saturday. There are only a few tickets left, but please click here to check availability.
Best wishes to you! And go Huskies!
John M. Thomas