No Better Place to Grow Up
by Thad Falkner, Head of School
You knew, of course, that this day would come. Your child’s very first day at Wilson, when you walked up the front steps holding her tiny hand, you hoped that this was a place where she would grow, and growing means changing. Learning to read and write (not just in English, but in French, too!), becoming more independent and resourceful, among so many other things; these were the goals. Not only that, but your sense that it would happen in a better and fuller way at Wilson than at any other school; that’s why you were here. Sure enough, it began to unfold: She not only became one of the kids whose classroom is downstairs, and who has a little buddy rather than a big one, and whose math homework frankly is a little tricky to help her with, she became someone who is both prepared and excited to move on to a new challenge. So here you are, on that day you knew would come, yet are still surprised by.
Even for those of us who have had the privilege of serving the Wilson community for many years, this transformation never loses its wonder. We delight in every part of your child’s time with us and take pride in their growth and progress at every stage, just as you do. We work diligently to make every year your favorite yet, so that it becomes impossible to choose. Still, there’s nothing like seeing a 6th grader step confidently up to the podium to give his graduation speech in front of 200 people, when you remember him as a shy four-year-old who had to be encouraged to raise his hand in class. When you read our “Portrait of a Wilson Graduate,” you will see that we expect a lot from our students as they leave. We state that our graduates are: Curious, Poised and Confident, Creative and Collaborative, Open Minded and Kind, and Ready for the World. That’s a lot to hope for from a twelve-year-old! The crucial difference is that we don’t just hope for it; our faculty and staff, in concert with our wonderful parent community, strive for mission-driven excellence every day in every grade to nurture, challenge, and support our students toward these outcomes. Growing up is hard work, but we remain firmly convinced that there is no better place to do it than at The Wilson School, and we are committed to you being convinced, as well, when you leave.
So, here you are. Of course you knew that her hand would not always be so tiny, and that one day she would walk up not only the front steps, but also the steps onto the stage with her graduating class. Still, there is surprise: The surprise that she grew in ways you couldn’t have even imagined that first day; the surprise that you could feel this proud. And though we may not be surprised by all of this, we share in your joy just the same.
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