Thank You, Flint Hill!

Dear Flint Hill,

Wow! What a journey. When we brought our son to Flint Hill, in kindergarten, we did it because you attracted us with your dedication to the whole child. You showed us that no part was more important than the other – academics, mental health, fun, athletics and the arts all were intertwined to make a balanced and happy child. As I look back to each division, I have somehow forgotten every struggle we had and only remember the exceptional moments. 

 In Lower School, I remember the love of learning that was created in my son that has served him well, the friendships that were made, and the confidence that occurred under the magical Ms. Hinnant. In Middle School, things started to get a little bit harder, and we were all tested (I learned that I am not great with that age group). Mr. Lamont was really the one that got us all through it — when I went to him with questions about math placement (my advice: don’t worry, it all works out); no old friends in advisory (my advice: don’t worry, they will make new friends); and my son maybe caring a bit too much about grades (his advice: don’t worry about grades in middle school; it all works out). In Upper School, under the watchful eyes of his advisors and teachers, he figured out what he believed in and what was important to him; he made the best lifelong friends and he worked super hard. 

Thirteen years ago, we brought a curious and maybe a tiny bit shy little boy to you, and now we are leaving with a self-motivated student, a leader, a wonderful writer and speaker, and a young man who feels that his job is to make the world better. That is no accident. He is a real Husky.  

Thirteen years ago, I came to Flint Hill not knowing what I was good at, not being as confident and not really having many friends. Now, I am leaving with a group of Flint Hill parents and faculty/staff that I cannot live without, feeling more confident than anyone should be, and more self aware of my strengths. You have been there to support me when I lost both of my parents and had hard times with work, and you saw me succeed and let me get to know the amazing students and staff. Flint Hill, I know that was never your intention, but you really gave me the best education and guided me to who I am today. I will never be able to thank you enough.  

Thank you to my mentor and now lifelong friend, John Thomas. Your belief in me, and my abilities, has probably been the biggest gift of my life. Thank you to Anne Peterson for saving the day more than once. Thank you to Meredith VanDuyne and the Advancement Team for being my family and loving me even when I am difficult. Thank you to Jim Bour and the Security Team for always opening the door for me. Thank you to Mark Capello and the Facilities Team for always being the reason Michelle Stanciu and I look so good. Thank you to Mia Burton and Kaleidoscope for getting me to read. Thank you to Dewayne Robinson and the Athletic Department for always listening and giving me the best hugs. Thank you James Venhaus and the Fine Arts Department for making our school more open-hearted. Thank you to every teacher – whether you taught my son, just smiled at me during Faculty Free Fridays, or became one of my closest friends – I love you all and can’t imagine Flint Hill without each of you. Thank you to all the parents, grandparents and guardians. You all are amazing! Thank you for volunteering, supporting the school and believing in me. I hope to continue my friendship with all of you and look forward to hearing about all the great things your Huskies are doing.

So now, as my time as a current parent here ends, I can appreciate just how good Flint Hill has been to my family. Thank you for everything.  

Once a Husky, always a Husky. 

Sibel Unsal P’22
Parents’ Association President

Take meaningful risks. Be yourself. Make a difference.

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