Dear Goshen Friends Families:
A few weeks ago in Lower School Meeting for Worship, I spoke to the students about tears, tears of sadness, of fear, of anger and of joy. We talked about the reasons behind those tears, and those times, those moments when we could not control the moisture coming from our eyes. Yet, as I said to the children, there are tears which we have all experienced when we are moved by the pure beauty of some act, some word, some big or small event, an indescribable wonder when we simply cry because we are profoundly touched by what we have witnessed, felt or heard. We are simply moved to tears.
Think of those times in your own lives. Is it a song so majestic and so beautiful that its resonance, its melody, its lyrics make you cry? Or perhaps, is it that sunset on a beach somewhere with the wind whipping in your face and the salt air filling your lungs that you are indeed in God's perfect creation? Or is it that time with your mother or father or sister or brother when words of encouragement, pride and love were exchanged in a way so gentle and reassuring that you just had to shed some tears? Or is it the courage and strength of the victims and helpers of Boston who came together to defy the evil of murder and destruction and formed a bond which will never be broken, a bond which defined the word "peace"? Did Boston make you cry? Or, as your children grow older, is it those times when you take the time to truly absorb the miracle of your creation? Is it the unadulterated joy of being a part of the unique journey of your child when you and he and you and she simply like being with one another. Does that make you cry? (Of course, you might tell me that you are moved to tears by the total daily exhaustion of just raising kids – I get it!)
What we experience everyday at Goshen does not literally move us to tears, but we get close. We meet your children in September and say goodbye in May and June, watching them change, grow, trip, fall, continue to change, continue to grow, laugh, cry, trip again, rise up, get their bearings and continue on their journey. It is a magical journey for them and for us, and we and they form relationships which will last a lifetime. A simple hello from a child, a math problem solved, a helping hand to a student in need, a thank you to a teacher, an uninhibited romp on the playground, songs sung with passion and hope and lots of waving, a class project completed and exhibited in front of proud parents, a moving tribute in Meeting for Worship, triumphs and regrets, connections formed with peers and adults, kindness in carline, unmatched enthusiasm over mold, building and building more until we have a skyscraper in preschool, dressing up as you would like, living life to its fullest each and every day, all these bring us to tears. We thank you for those tears, for your children, for your patience, for your generosity, for your flexibility, for your devotion, for your understanding, for your cooperation, for your collaboration, for your kindness, for your hard work, for your CHILDREN. Our tears are tears of gratitude for you and most importantly, for them.
I thank the GPC for all their dedicated work this year, especially Stacy Spiegel and Rachel Petyk who graciously and skillfully co-clerked the committee. Volunteers are critical to the continued good health of a school, so the work of the GPC and its co-clerks is greatly appreciated. We are grateful.
We also thank all of you who volunteered to drive our students for field trips throughout the year. Your willingness to shepherd our students in your vehicle (which I am sure was far from quiet) was helpful in making our many trips big successes! You are saints!
I am pleased to announce that Lori Rizzo will be our new A1 and A3 assistant next year, working alongside our lead teacher, Kim Prann. Lori did her student teaching, and was a substitute teacher at Villa Maria and has done volunteer work at Saint Mary Magdalen Church these past few years. Having been a part of both the business and educational world, Lori has her B.A. in History from the University of Scranton and received 30 post graduate credits in Education from Immaculata University. She and her husband, Matthew, are proud parents of Gabrielle, Lauren and Isabella, all graduates of our preschool. We are pleased Lori will be joining our faculty, and we look forward to working with her for many years to come. Please welcome her.
Maria Rufe will be our new assistant teacher in C1 next year, working with our lead teacher, Joyce Nichols. Having worked in higher education at Virginia Western Community College in Roanoke and Concord College in West Virginia, Maria has also been an environmental health specialist in West Chester. She received her B.S. in Geology from the University of Cincinnati and her M.S. in Geosciences from Virginia Tech. She has frequently volunteered her services at Goshen and has served as treasurer for the GPC this past year. She and her husband, Eric, are proud parents of Eliot who will be in first grade next year. We welcome Maria to our faculty, and we wish her well as she takes on the joyful mission of supporting our wonderful C1 students.
Please remember the following events In May.• Wednesday, May 15 – Kids Care – 3 to 4:15 p.m.• Wednesday, May 15 – Lower School Spring Concert – K and 1 and 6 p.m., grades 2-5 at 7 p.m.• Wednesday, May 22 – Diversity Dinner – 6 p.m.• Wednesday, May 22 and Thursday, May 23 – last days of Preschool classes• Friday May 24 – Preschool picnic – 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.• Monday, May 27 – Memorial Day• Wednesday, May 29 – Independent Study meeting for 4th and 5th grade parents – 7 p.m.• Thursday, May 30 – Game Day for Lower School• Tuesday, June 4 – Kindergarten celebration – 10 a.m.• Thursday, June 6 – Last day of Kindergarten Enrichment• Friday, June 7 – Graduation – 10 a.m. followed by Lower School picnic at 11 a.m.- 1:00 dismissal• Monday, June 10 – Explorers Camp begins• Tuesday, June 11 – Little Explorers Camp begins
Lastly, to those of you who are leaving us after this year, I wish you and your family the very best. Thank you for entrusting your children to us. To those of you who are returning, may you have a wonderful summer and may you take the time to enjoy and celebrate your precious children.
May you be moved to tears in the days ahead.
See you in September.
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Support Head of School Tom Richards as he paddles his way to an all-purpose room. Tom's Kayaking Quest (pdf)Click here to follow Tr. Tom's Quest and to make a donation!Watch Tr. Tom kayak!If you would like to support Tr. Tom but would prefer not to use the on-line donation process, click here to access a form. Keep in mind, it does not contain the most recent totals. Please fill in all relevant information and return the form with your payment (cash or check) to Goshen Friends School.