Dear SMH Families,
I hope you had a relaxing and enjoyable Memorial Day Weekend. With school having been out now for over a week, perhaps like me, you’ve had some time to reflect more about the incredible work our students and teachers did throughout the year. In observing our students at the various end-of-year awards ceremonies, promotions, Baccalaureate, and Commencement, I was struck by how much they changed, matured, and grew. Each of the ceremonies—especially the Forms 5 and 8 Promotions and the Commencement of our Seniors—evoked lots of emotions from the students, as well as the faculty and parents. And, perhaps more than any in recent memory, these end of year activities were such a testament to the resilience and hope of our children.
In processing these events, I was particularly impressed by the growth and accomplishments of our seniors. The Class of ’22 experienced considerable challenges throughout its years, yet one of their strengths was the way that they supported and cared for each other. As a class and as individuals, they respected each other and the way that each of their classmates contributed something unique and irreplaceable to the success and experience of all. We were all so happy for them that in their last few months they enjoyed a spring that may have looked and felt like a “senior spring.”
We continue to look toward a time when all our students may not have to live in a world that can feel unsafe, whether due to Covid or living in a society filled with so much division. And yet, with the shootings last week in Uvalde, another heart-wrenching event saddens us to our core. Our emotions run deep, and our prayers go out to the families who experienced such unimaginable loss.
As a school community, we must continue to rise to the occasion and play our part in educating our future. As parents, teachers, and administrators, we must be committed to having strong partnerships that foster our sense of community and drive us to do the things that are necessary to make us even better. With that in mind, I would like for us at SMH to continue next year to reinforce our commitment to building community. We made some tremendous progress this year in finding ways to connect. We were able to return to some of our cherished traditions this year, and we were also able to establish some new ways.
One new way of community building that I would like to introduce for next year is a book club. Next fall, we will offer opportunities for conversation around some shared reading. The first will be a book by Stanford University Psychology Professor Jamil Zaki, titled The War for Kindness: Building Empathy in a Fracture World. Professor Zaki shares the latest social science around empathy, and it is heartening news that has important implications for school communities like ours. The book club initiative is completely voluntary opportunity, yet another way we may be able to deepen our commitment to our mission and children.
I hope you have a wonderful summer. I wish the Seniors and those leaving the best and will look forward to writing my next letter at the start of the 2022-23 school year.