When young prospective students and parents come to visit our school, along with other admissions materials we will give the child a little stuffed baby eagle. Not only is the eagle our mascot, but I believe it is fitting that we give a little eagle to little children who are launching their formal education with us. At St. Michael’s School, our students are in a nest, of sorts, and it is in our magical nest that we raise them up to be successful scholars. It is our job, in partnership with parents, not only to give them roots but also wings as they grow. As the eighth grade year progresses, we see the wings push out and our big eagles poised to soar. They are ready to fly, ready to leave our nest, ready to conquer the world of high school and beyond. They are empowered to be leaders, scholars, and more. Some take off on their own while others may need a gentle nudge, but off they will fly beyond our walls.
As a parent, I did not find it to be always easy nudging my own children out of the “nest.” There were days, I will admit, when that departure did not seem to come soon enough. On the other hand, just as I did when each left to go to Kindergarten, I shed more than a few tears as each left for college and beyond. My husband and I knew we had done our job in the best way that we could, but there were still millions of thoughts of things left unsaid or lessons left untaught. In spite of us and perhaps because of us, the roots had gone deep and the wings were poised for flight. Each was ready to move on at each stage of the game.
As I look at not only our eighth grade class but also our Kindergarteners and above, I know they are ready to move forward with excitement and anticipation. Each teacher looks at his or her class and takes a deep breath as the students move forward. We feel a possessiveness, for they have been ours for nine months of school. We have all done our best to teach each child, to encourage each child, to establish a moral compass in each child in order to prepare them for their next chapter. We have known them and we have loved them just as they are right now, and for who we know they will be as they grow and mature. Like parents, we are as proud of them as they grow, and we cheer from the side of the St. Michael’s nest as they soar with strong eagle wings.
As the last week of school comes, we are all grateful for the opportunity to have had each child in our classrooms and in the magical kingdom of St. Michael’s. Thank you to all you parents for sharing these gems with us and for trusting us with them as they grow. To be a part of this chapter of their lives during these formative years is indeed a privilege. What a joy it has been. Now watch them soar.
Head of School