Commencement Address to the Class of 2015

May 29, 2015 by Guest Faculty Bloggers

by Shawn Durrett, Dean of Faculty

Welcome Stoneleigh-Burnham community and special guests, good morning class of 2015. Seniors, thank you for inviting me to share this day with you; I feel so honored to stand here and speak to you today. Nafisatou and Grace, it is a privilege to share the stage with you, you who model the many ways to find your voice, and use it. Thank you for your words.

Filed Under: graduation speech, Graduation, Class of 2015

Along the Light of Day

May 19, 2015 by Bill Ivey

By the time I got to our usual table for Monday’s Middle School Advisory Lunch, three of my advisees had already sat down and were deeply engaged in conversation. As new advisees arrived, they joined in, and as I listened in, smiled, and nodded, I couldn’t help but think that everyone was in a good mood today and also that through the year everyone had become really, wonderfully, comfortable with each other.

Filed Under: Middle School, Middle Level Education, Graduation, Moving Up, Education

Guest Post: "Believe the Bird" Commencement Address by Anna Schuleit Haber

June 19, 2014 by Guest Faculty Bloggers

This year's Commencement speaker, chosen by the graduating class of 2014, was visual artist and MacArthur Felllow Anna Schuleit Haber. Ms. Haber has graciously given us permission to post her full speech here. "Believe the Bird" was delivered at Stoneleigh-Burnham School's 2014 Commencement Ceremony on Friday, June 6th in Greenfield, Massachusetts.

Filed Under: School Happenings, graduation speech, class of 2014, Stoneleigh-Burnham School, anna schuleit haber, Graduation, commencement address, Uniquely Stoneleigh-Burnham School

Guest Post: Reflections for the Class of 2014

June 05, 2014 by Guest Faculty Bloggers

Today we feature a guest blogger, parent Christina Lord. Christina has written a reflection for her daughter Caroline Lord and Caroline's peers who will be graduating tomorrow morning, June 6th.

Filed Under: Graduation

Not Long Enough

May 28, 2013 by Bill Ivey

Spearth Day was born of a series of compromises, but has become one of the key dates in the waning weeks of our school year. Many years ago, the students asked for a special day to celebrate the mailman who played such an important role in their lives (today's students, for whom email is old-fashioned and texting is routine, would probably find this odd). We called it "M and M Day" for "Mail Man Day," and besides presenting him with a card and gifts when he finally showed, we played an all-school game of Capture the Flag and found other ways to celebrate. Over time, M and M Day evolved and became more organized - for one thing, the tradition of the talent show was begun. Meanwhile, earlier in the spring, Earth Day remained a day off for service - cleaning up local parks and rivers, clearing trails, and so on. The two days were eventually combined into one, and the name "Spearth Day" comes from "Spring-Earth Day." We spend the morning doing various service projects on- and off-campus, have the Talent Show after lunch, follow that with games and booths organized by classes and clubs, dedicate the yearbook and pass out copies, and end with a barbecue. This year, for a special treat, there will be a dance performance by the Senior IB dancers.

Filed Under: Spearth Day, Teaching, Alumnae, School Happenings, On Education, Bill Ivey, Celebrating Holidays, Beautifully different, On Parenting, community, In the Classroom, Performing Arts, performing, Stoneleigh-Burnham School, Graduation, Uniquely Stoneleigh-Burnham School

How Far We've Come

May 20, 2013 by Bill Ivey

I was arriving a little later for school than I usually do, but I was nonetheless pretty sure it wasn't typical for a large group of students to be walking down the driveway. Maybe something special was going on at the barn? Or perhaps a science class was doing a lab by the pond? Suddenly, it hit me - it was our very first group of IB diploma candidates, walking down to Sally and Hank's house to take the first-ever IB exam in our school's history. I smiled and waved encouragingly, trying to make eye contact with as many students as possible, and wondered to myself at how so many truly significant moments appear so normal at the same time.

Filed Under: Teaching, School Happenings, exams, Bill Ivey, invigilation, Stoneleigh-Burnham School, Graduation, International Baccalaureate, Uniquely Stoneleigh-Burnham School, Education

Growing Out of Over-Thinking

June 29, 2012 by Guest Faculty Bloggers

The following post was originally published in our Spring 2012 Bulletin. It was written by Bryna Cofrin-Shaw, a graduate of the class of 2010.

Filed Under: women in sports, Alumnae, Grades 7-12 and PG, On Education, Boarding and Day, Girls Schools, college, College Prep, All Girls Education, growth, Stoneleigh-Burnham School, Graduation, Uniquely Stoneleigh-Burnham School, Education

Vigorous Love and a Frenzy of Renaissance

June 14, 2012 by Bill Ivey

Spring is often an intense time of transition in kids' lives as the school year ends, and as such is frequently marked by rituals such as the 8th Grade Moving Up Ceremony, Upper School Awards Ceremony, Vespers, and Farewell to Seniors at Stoneleigh-Burnham, Baccalaureate in my son's school, and of course Commencement in both schools plus thousands of others. Another important marker of transition for young people of the Christian faith is Confirmation, and my niece went through that ritual this morning in her church. The similarities to some of our school ceremonies are striking but unsurprising - identifying and celebrating what makes each kid special, marking the bond they created with other, marking the bond their advisors created with them, and always looking to the past as the crucible which formed us as well as the future which shines with such promise. As these young people, only one of whom I had ever met (my niece!), shared memories of their baptisms, their journey through the year in Confirmation classes, and personal perceptions of their special gifts and how they planned to use them in service, the sense of community was striking.

Filed Under: Middle School, Teaching, Grades 7-12 and PG, On Education, Bill Ivey, Boarding and Day, Parenting, On Parenting, All Girls Education, Stoneleigh-Burnham Middle School, The Faculty Perspective, Stoneleigh-Burnham School, Graduation, Education

As Best We Can

June 14, 2012 by Bill Ivey

I still have vivid memories of the first SBS Vespers ceremony I ever attended, 26 years ago. A graduate of a public high school, I was wholly unprepared for the depth of emotion, the sheer, inconsolable sadness some of these kids were feeling. When I graduated, we were all going off to parties afterwards and were still looking forward to a whole summer of fun together before heading off to our various colleges and life destinies. I knew our true separation was inevitable, but it still felt like a long ways off and was easy to put out of my mind. These kids, on the other hand, were about 14 hours away from saying goodbye to people who had truly become family to them, people with whom they had lived 24/7, sharing the ups and downs of their lives and relying on each other for the kind of deep down solid support you always seek but don't always find in life. And now the Class of 1986 was saying goodbye with a virtual guarantee that they would never again be all together in the same place, and some of them would really and truly never see each other again. The closest friendships, of course, would survive, and others would be renewed at reunions. But caught up in separation anxiety, it was hard for them - and for that matter, for me - to keep that in mind.

Filed Under: Alumnae, Grades 7-12 and PG, On Education, Bill Ivey, Boarding and Day, Parenting, Girls Schools, On Parenting, All Girls Education, Stoneleigh-Burnham Middle School, The Faculty Perspective, Stoneleigh-Burnham School, Graduation, Education

What's Simple Is True

June 01, 2012 by Bill Ivey

The middle school recently celebrated Founders' Day, a tradition initiated (logically enough) by the 10 founding students. Seven years ago this month, they asked if future middle school students could have a special day off just for the middle school, to have fun and feel special and to remember the Founders. Since then, traditions have built up and although MOCA (middle school student government) technically plans the day from scratch each year, the schedule generally comes down to breakfast and a movie, tie-dying t-shirts, a barbeque and an afternoon of fun and games. Each year puts their own stamp on those traditions, but the general outline stays pretty much the same.

Filed Under: Middle School, Teaching, Alumnae, Grades 7-12 and PG, School Happenings, On Education, Bill Ivey, Boarding and Day, All Girls Education, In the Classroom, Stoneleigh-Burnham Middle School, The Faculty Perspective, Stoneleigh-Burnham School, Graduation, Education