Know Yourself. Choose Yourself. Give Yourself.
Synapse School educates change makers through social-emotional learning, innovation and leading-edge academics.
Chance that Synapse students use more wood, string, blocks, cardboard and wire than worksheets
Kapla building blocks used on a regular basis to create anything and everything
Number of points our Ultimate Frisbee team received to win the spirit award at the Spaghetti Western Tournament
Families who pledged to the 2019 Annual Fund
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We are here tonight to celebrate a funky bunch of 8th graders who have had to deal with a whole lot of unknowns and “what ifs” the past two school years. Can you believe we are here, in person? There was a time not long ago where I wasn’t sure we would be allowed to hold a graduation on campus. But, here we are!
Thank you - family and friends - for coming to celebrate this unique group of 8th graders on this glorious graduation evening. We often think about graduation as if it’s the end of some journey, but it’s also the beginning of one. The chance to see the world differently, to change your location and your context, to contribute and help out, to seek to better understand yourself and others. In many ways, you are just getting started!
If you haven't been paying attention, COVID case counts and hospitalizations are dropping precipitously and vaccine distribution is accelerating. The arguments for optimism around COVID are grounded in reason, and for the first time in months, there seems to be hope. We simply need to be vigilant - wear a mask and get vaccinated. It’s more than a shot for you, it’s a shot for those you love too. From hugs shared with family, to maskless gatherings with vaccinated friends, to working out, or dining out, the ever-present worry which for some has been overwhelming will begin to dissipate. By getting vaccinated you will help those who are overwhelmed and you’ll gain some of your pre-pandemic life back. We all will. Can you imagine that?
I've never felt entirely at ease during holidays. When I was a younger man, early in my teaching career, I would travel, often choosing to fly on Christmas Day. Going home brought up difficult emotions for me, and I didn't yet have the skills to handle the tension and my reactions. Thankfully, through practice, patience, and an abundance of compassion from my family, it's now my turn to extend that compassion, and to be of service to my kids and my wife.
I'm with my wife and kids in Upstate NY right now. I arrived late last night after four days of driving, self-contained and self-resourced, in order to isolate myself in my car. Interstate 5, to Interstate 40, to Interstate 81. SoCal, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York. Only stops for gas, for quick one mile runs around truck stops or frontage roads, and to sleep in isolated, rural cabins. Not exactly the great American road trip.
But in some ways maybe it was.