December 20, 2012

“Here”– a year-end reflection


Art by first grader Anika
Dear Friends’ School Community,

Here we are at the very end of 2012, in the midst of the festive holiday season.  Yet this is also a time when a devastating tragedy thousands of miles from Boulder has wounded our hearts and seized our national consciousness.  As educators and as parents, we cannot help but worry and mourn.

At Friends’ School, the first half of the 2012-13 school year has been a challenging one for many in our community with personal losses and significant illness.  And yet, throughout it all, here we are, still standing.  And, assuming that someone has been misreading the Mayan calendar and this column arrived in your inbox shortly after dawn on 12/21/12, still we are here.

For we are a strong community. And we are here for each other.

Yesterday the preschool and elementary school welcomed the official start of winter and eagerly anticipated the upcoming break from school with our traditional Winter Celebrations. 

At the elementary school’s Winter Celebration at Naropa’s Nalanda campus, we were honored and thrilled to welcome back the Founders of our school – to hear from them and to say thank you to them.  For without their great wisdom, foresight, and guidance, none of us would be a part of this wonderful school today.  Because of the extraordinary vision and hard work of Bev Cole, Hope Morrissett and her husband Larry Gold, and Joan Lieberman, Friends’ School is here.  As part of our Gratitude Project, last night the current community of parents, students, teachers and staff were able to step back in time momentarily and hear about the original founding vision for our school.
Three of Friends' founding parents at last night's Winter
Celebration: Joan Lieberman, Larry Gold & Bev Cole

In spite of the hardships that dull our hearts, we all have so much to be thankful for.  The founding of this school is one. Friends’ Gratitude Project, in this our 25th year, has helped all of us at school focus on the many joys that are here for us every day. 

For me, as I walk through the halls and classrooms of this school, I’m thankful for so very much: helping to build a fire station out of blocks with preschoolers and listening to their earnest directions; puzzling over algebraic problems with my Monday group of fifth graders and seeing their eyes sparkle when they suddenly get it; sneaking a sample of Dacia’s fabulous school lunches; admiring the gorgeous artwork that adorns our walls; showing up early to practice the staff song for Winter Celebration; guessing a date in the sweepstakes for when Mandy and Catherine’s baby will arrive (any day now!); watching a fabulous medieval play put on by 2nd and 3rd graders; trying to get Kindergartners not to laugh when I know they want to. 

So much to be grateful for.

In this holiday season, my hope for you is that you too will find many many things to be thankful for.  They are all around us.  They are here. 

I wish you and your family a restful, peaceful, and joy-filled winter break and holiday season.  I look forward to seeing you in the New Year. 

Steve

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