I have been lucky to attend almost every Founder’s Day since my son began at Flint Hill. At first, I didn’t really understand what it was or even think that I could attend, but, one year, I decided to take a chance and go. The entire school comes together to celebrate our founders, acknowledge our faculty and staff for milestone years at Flint Hill and to surprise the year’s Driving Spirit Award winners.
Each year, the committee asks parents, students and faculty/staff for nominations. The Driving Spirit Award recognizes current Flint Hill faculty and staff who have demonstrated ethical leadership, diligent intellectual scholarship and a commitment to teaching, coaching, mentoring and supporting our students. Recipients are recognized for their contributions to the “Driving Spirit,” which makes our school the special and unique place we all value and a place that honors excellence while emphasizing the importance of honesty, compassion, respect and responsibility. These faculty and staff members lead by example through their dedication and ability to energize and inspire Flint Hill’s community to new heights of learning and leadership, both inside and outside the classroom. They promote an element of excellence and are extraordinary in their effort.
Although all of Flint Hill’s staff are amazing, it is fun to see who is selected each year. No one knows which members of the team are going to be honored, so it is so fun to watch faces as John begins to read the letters describing the nominee. I remember when Katie Knicely received her award, she was sitting in the bleachers with her students, and I could see tears begin to form on her face when she realized that it was her that was being honored. I remember when Lwanga Namulanda received his award, and the joy that exploded in the gym when members of his family surprised him and ran into his arms to congratulate him. I remember the year Dom Vo received his award, and the other members of the facilities team lit up the gym with pride for their colleague.
I am in awe of all the teachers and staff at Flint Hill. To inspire us daily with their dedication to the school and students is really overwhelming. Founder’s Day is really what Flint Hill is all about, looking at both where we have come from and always looking to the future for inspiration.
If you are available tomorrow, Thursday, March 31, at 9:15 a.m., join me in the Upper School gym to hear the stories of the people who have dedicated so much of their careers to Flint Hill.
Sibel Unsal P’22
Parents’ Association President
Take meaningful risks. Be yourself. Make a difference.
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