One of the things that is most wonderful about working in schools, and particularly about my job here, is watching students change over time. You get to see them when they are very young, to see the seeds of who they will become, to imagine the different people they might grow into, and then you get to see them as they prepare to embark on the rest of their lives, brimming with talent, confidence, and excitement about their future. It is truly a magnificent thing.
There are a couple of nights a year when this is at the forefront of my mind. Graduation is certainly one of them. Another is our annual Senior/Trustee dinner. This is a great Solebury tradition where the senior class, the Board of Trustees, and the faculty have a delicious dinner catered by our chefs (and where the Middle School students serve as the waitstaff – god they’re cute when they do this!). The night has a couple of keynote speeches by students, but the real highlight of the evening are the toasts. There is a microphone set up in the dining hall, and anyone can get up and make a toast to whatever or whomever they would like. While some toasts are made by the faculty and the Trustees, the evening is really about the students sharing their thoughts about their time here. Below are two videos – one of one of the keynote speeches, the other a compilation of some of the toasts students made. Even though I’ve been an observer and a participant of the whole process of their education and development during their years here, hearing them speak about the impact the school, the faculty, the classes, and the relationships all have had on them almost brings me to tears each year. They are tremendous people, and while I, and the school as a whole, will miss them tremendously, I am so excited for them as they get ready to begin this next part of their lives. As you watch the videos, you’ll see why my colleagues and I are truly blessed to live the lives we do.