Dear Middle School Families,
As I prepared for maternity leave several weeks ago, I stood in the hall of our beloved Middle School looking out over each classroom marveling at the sounds of conversation, laughter, and joyful learning bellowing up and down the hall. I overheard a few students enthusiastically sharing their excitement about an upcoming activity and a different pair working through an assignment with the support of a dear faculty member. In this moment, I was yet again reminded of the great metamorphosis unfolding for each of our students physically, intellectually, morally, socially, and emotionally. My heart was full knowing that, as they navigate this period, Holton provides a space where all are working to ensure they are safe, seen, understood, and celebrated for who they are becoming. Along the way, students are able to “take important risks, learn from their mistakes, pursue opportunities for leadership, build friendships” and to develop skills and habits of mind needed for contexts beyond school.
Ultimately, our goal as parents/guardians/educators is to help them grow into happy, balanced, kind, and thoughtful individuals who are equipped to navigate life. The journey to this point is a process. A process that is vital. While the path to this end point may not always be a straight one, I am grateful for the journey. I extend my heartfelt gratitude to each of you for your partnership and for entrusting your child to us. It is a tremendous honor and privilege to spend our days with your children. Their zest for life is infectious and fills us in ways unimaginable.
I am grateful to be a part of the Holton community and to be surrounded by such talented, dedicated and extraordinary faculty, administrators, and staff. I value the ways they inspire and challenge me to be a better teacher, wife, mother, friend, and colleague. As I have explored our beloved Holton from different vantage points this year, I am reminded how powerful girls' schools are and what I hope one day my sweet Alexandra will be blessed to experience on her academic journey. Most importantly, I want her to be embraced by loving adults, such as those at Holton, who will help her to feel safe in her learning community and to equip her to make a difference in our “complex and changing world.”
It is my hope that during this time and beyond, as Susanna Jones so beautifully described in her recent Head’s Notes column that “we take every opportunity to count our blessings.” I surely count you among mine. May we each find time to devote care to ourselves emotionally, physically, and spiritually during this holiday. Wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving! Enjoy these precious moments!
Ryann Williams Berry