August 23, 2012

Welcome to the Experience

Welcome to the 2012-13 school year. We are proud to be celebrating our 25th year! Our elementary school students have completed their first few days of school and we are ready and excited to welcome our preschoolers back on Monday.

Each week you will find this column in the Happenings and on the Among Friends’ website – a place where I share stories from in and around Friends’ and among friends.

The start of school is always an invigorating time, for students, parents, teachers and school heads alike. New beginnings: the smell of freshly sharpened pencils, blank bulletin boards and notebooks awaiting the creative touch, new clothes that reflect our maturing personalities, the possibilities that lie ahead to make new friends and go on new learning adventures.  This year, we’re excited to have added air conditioning to all of our K-5 classrooms, the elementary music room, and the kitchen.  Our elementary students and staff will be as cool this late summer as their preschool counterparts.

At our elementary school gathering on the first day of school this week, I shared some images from the recent London Olympics.  Like quite a few of our students, I enjoyed watching great Olympic competition this summer.

When I flashed the image on the screen of Colorado high school student Missy Franklin (and her four gold medals), many of our students recognized her immediately.  I also showed pictures of other athletes from Colorado, some of whom had won medals, most of whom had not, including Boulder’s Taylor Phinney (cycling) and Emma Coburn (steeplechase).  Of our state’s 39 Olympians, we saw pictures of Lance Brooks (discus) from Denver and David Herman (BMX) of Arvada, and others.

Many of these world-class athletes had, in the not too distant past, been elementary students in schools across our state.  Kids with big dreams, growing talent, a desire to work hard, and a will to succeed.  None of them grabbed the headlines like Missy Franklin.  Almost all had fulfilled their lifelong dreams of being in the Olympics.  Just getting to London and doing their best was enough.  I shared with our students the famous words of the father of the modern Olympics, Baron Pierre de Courbetin:“The important thing is not to win but to take part.”

And that is one of our major goals for our students here at Friends’. Life is not always about winning the gold medal.  It is about experience.  Getting out there and participating fully.  We are thrilled to play a part in our students’, in your child’s, experiences of life. We are grateful you are here.  Happy new year!

1 comment:

shelpaw said...

Thanks for putting it out there again: it's not really about the gold medal. That can be a hard thing for people to keep in mind when watching the Olympic coverage. Sometimes I think we take a step or two backwards in our efforts to emphasize EFFORT when the Olympics are in our living rooms!