This has been a lovely first week here at your school. All School on Friday was just perfect. Kids were so keenly attentive to one another's sharings, the singing was hearty, and the new students, teachers, and parents in attendance looked/felt like old friends. The bookends, our new 8th grade class, which seems poised to lead the school as the role models to their schoolmates, and the new kindergartners, who were sitting nicely being their best audience, had a balanced and joyful effect on us all.
Then, after a rousing afternoon at the Center School Board retreat yesterday*, I had dinner with my son Henry (who graduated from Center School in June), his Center School buddy Jasper (now at Northfield Mount Hermon), and Jasper's mom, Emily, at Local Burger in Northampton. As we chatted about the transition to high school and navigating all the rules and unknowns, Emily pointed out that there's a Center School family of folks at NMH (parents who teach there, parents of students in older grades who bring their kids there everyday) already offering them support and a hand with learning the new culture. Emily said, "Of course it would be our Center School family that would be there, front and Center, to help Jasper and me." That's what we cultivated and reaped during our time at the Center School.
Our nostalgia went well with the burgers and fries, and the laughs came easily despite our missing the familiar. The boys seemed much more sturdy than Emily or me, which was exactly as it should have been! Also, they were downing a dessert of chocolate malteds and a Captain Crunch coated hot dog to share... so, what was there to stress over, really?
With those glimpses into my Center School brain, I wish you all a joyful beginning of this school year. Savor it and make it yours. It all goes so impossibly fast.
Head of School
* You guys! Every year I feel so proud of, and touched by, the fact that in addition to wonderful parents, staff members, and alumni the Center School Board consistently attracts members from the community at large who have no skin in the game, as it were, other than believing fervently and palpably in our mission. This is such a huge testament to the school's power and scope. I thought you should know.