Well folks, we only have three more days left in the school year, and they are traditionally some of our most memorable days with Grammar School character rock presentations, SL/R finals, our year-end assembly and cookout, and graduation. We've had to adapt many of these traditions, and I have been very proud of your commitment to still cherish these special events with your children and one another.
I shared last week that graduation for the class of 2020 will be held outdoors on our campus on Friday, June 5, and while we intended to invite the whole community to attend, with social distancing requirements in effect, this year's ceremony will likely need to be limited to our graduates and their families, along with faculty/staff and a few additional SR students and friends of our graduates. To give the rest of us an opportunity to bring closure to the year, we will be holding our Year-End Assembly online this coming Wed, May 20, at 11:40am. A special email will be sent before then with the link to join us live for about 10-15 minutes as we reflect on a few highlights from the year, announce and honor our Most Influential Teachers, award the House Cup Champion, and receive our annual summer charge. Please make plans to join us for this school-wide, online gathering.
One of the many casualties of this year's conclusion is the inability for us to hug and thank departing employees like Mrs. Hanna McWhorter. We are so grateful for all that she's done for us, our students, and the Grammar School, first as teacher and then as its Head over the past five years. While an in-person high-five or hug isn't possible, we can still let her know how much we appreciate her leadership, care, and commitment. Hanna, we—and I—thank you. You will be missed, and while we would love for you and your family to be lifers at Veritas (and are hopeful that someday you may return to Austin), we are also eager to welcome Mrs. McLatcher to our administrative team to continue to grow, lead, and support our youngest Defenders. Please take a moment to watch Hanna's "Goodbye" and Jenny's "Hello" below in the Grammar School portion of the memo. Our Grammar School has been, and will continue to be, blessed by strong leadership.
The end of each school year always brings some anticipation for the upcoming fall, and this is true now more than ever. We have been devoting much time to anticipating and addressing questions that you have while also preparing contingency plans based on a variety of scenarios. As always, we want to do this in partnership with you and ask that you please help inform our planning over the summer by completing the survey below. It has two sections: one focused on feedback from our Virtual Veritas format this spring and one focused on possible contingency plans. We will stay in touch throughout the summer as both our plans and the directives we receive from the state develop. Additionally, please remember to be on the lookout for our Back-to-School Checklist to hit your inbox in late May/early June to give you plenty of time to prepare for the fall.
This final HOS Homework assignment of the year is for all of us, students and adults alike. I am challenging every one one of us to spend a few moments reflecting on what we have experienced over the last two months, in particular the highlights. In these few months of living a radically different life than normal, what have you appreciated, embraced, and/or enjoyed the most? What do you not want to give up when life goes back to “normal”...what should become a part of your─and your family’s─new normal? And what habits, routines, or mindsets do you most fear falling back into? Bonus question for extra credit: If you were to discover that God slowed down the whole world to teach you something, what was it?
Well, that’s your final exam. Good luck! Oh yeah, parents/adults, turn your answers in to your spouse and kids. Students, your answers are to be shared with your parents, ideally over a family dinner that you prepared. And since you’re doing the cooking, go ahead and make it your favorite meal. (Your parents might even spring for steak and lobster if you promise to discuss genuine, thoughtful answers!)
Thank you all for embodying the grit, tenacity, adaptability, ingenuity, and perseverance that makes Veritas a community of peculiar people with whom I am proud to stand and serve. May we live in times of peace and prosperity as we did when at our best in this time of crisis.
Moving forward, onward, and upward.