Dear Day School Family,
In the Middle School, winter turning into spring this year was full, fast, and bittersweet. It would be impossible for me to share all of the events during this time, however, I will try to highlight a few.
Our service learning program, Humanitas, worked to produce beautiful artwork for Hollywild Zoo, friendships with students from Arcadia school, plans for the new Middle School recreation and recess fields, delicious gifts of homemade pies, a working reference book for birds and trees found on our own campus, knitted offerings for those needing warmth, cemetery care, and a fruitful garden.
For the first time since I have been here, and perhaps ever, the Middle School hosted its very own art show and reception. There were many outstanding artists and pieces of artwork celebrated, and it was a tremendous success. I sincerely hope this becomes an annual event for us to look forward to and enjoy.
I am always invigorated by the amount of teaching and learning that occurs during these months. From rocket launches to poetry contests, children’s book writing to lessons in velocity via classroom high constructions, skeletal systems to musical ensembles and jazz performances, historic story quilts to Fahrenheit 451, Greek mythology to the celebration of Pi Day, languages that span the globe to a sixth grade ball, and much much more... our halls are fun to walk.
Many students find ways to excel and be recognized, and our award ceremonies uniquely highlight such achievements. A full list of Middle School Awards can be found on our school website, and I encourage you to take a look at the variety of strengths our students continue to exhibit. As a Middle School teacher of many years, I must say that so many accomplishments, achievements, milestones, and moments don’t find themselves on plaques or certificates. They come in the form of students finding inner strength, intellectual curiosity, and a sense of themselves that we strive to assist them to discover during their middle years. They are often small gestures of kindness noticed only by a teacher, a mentor, or another student. Sometimes, they are insights found within a written essay or original poem. They may be seen on an athletic field as one lifts up a teammate, rallies a team to victory, or shakes hands with an opponent after a miserable loss. They may be overheard in a literature group discussion or between friends at lunch. Sometimes, they are a simple apology or words of thanks. They are not momentous, but they are what we celebrate with great enthusiasm and pride.
The bittersweet part for me each year is saying goodbye to our eighth graders and sending them to Upper School. While we know they are more than ready for a new challenge, a bit more freedom, a fresh start, and a beautiful new space, we hate to see them go. In addition to this goodbye, we also bid farewell to our leader of the last seven years, David Perkinson. We will miss him very much and wish him well in Baton Rouge.
Happy, happy summer. ----Farrar Richardson
Head of Middle School