Faculty, staff, and students, I have loved the energy you have brought back to campus! But, at Convocation, we slow things down and celebrate what we have just begun. We mark the start of school – a year we know will bring new opportunities for each of us and for our school.
It may seem that, once we have begun, we should just keep the momentum, push forward, get on with the business of school, but I think we should not press ahead, at least not just yet. There will be plenty of time to attend to the academic work of the day, to plan activities with friends, to organize the binders, and to get involved. And, we must do all of these things.
What we must do right now is pause, be mindful of and appreciative of what we have. Convocation gives us this opportunity. Though I am not a newcomer anymore, I am very excited about my work, my home, and my school, and it is easy for me to see how fortunate we are:
- We are fortunate to have faculty who are passionate about their subject matter and their teaching.
- We are fortunate to have the support of a great staff who believe in the mission of the school.
- We are fortunate to have role models for academic, athletic, and artistic excellence in our student body.
- We are fortunate to have faculty and students and staff who are deeply committed to service, to making the world a better place, and to the community.
Our recognition of the bounty we have, and an understanding of what it affords us will help us achieve something even greater: it will inspire generosity of both spirit and action. Today, three students who have committed so much of themselves to this community will speak to you about our school, our Honor Code, and their understanding of it. Seniors Melissa and Katie share the role of Co-President of Student Council. Olly, a junior, will read the Honor Code to us as a part of her responsibility as Vice-President of Student Council.
These amazing young women share a great responsibility to this community, for sure, and they have a great appreciation for their school and a generosity of spirit that we admire. Over the days that come, I will certainly see many examples of appreciation and generosity in all areas of our work together. They will likely include a pat on the back and a “job well done” from a coach, a thank you to the staff who keep the building in such good shape and prepare everything to support a great year, or a student’s calming moment with a friend.
We have much to be proud of at Stoneleigh-Burnham and much to look forward to this year, but by taking a moment to truly appreciate these gifts and being generous with our time and energy, we temper our pride with humility. By doing so, we will put these gifts to their best use for ourselves and for others.