by Head of School Robert W. Hill III. Originally presented during all-school assembly on Thursday, January 3, 2013.
I wanted to welcome everyone back, but also to extend a warm Williston welcome to a new member of the class of 2015, Fiona Li, who joins us from Hong Kong and will be living in John Wright.
Also, I want to welcome the latest member of the Athas family, Avery Elizabeth Athas, who was born two days after you left for the holidays.
The holiday banquet seems a long way off already and much has happened in our world. It is appropriate—as an elementary school about 90 minutes away near Newtown, CT reconvenes today—to commit ourselves to all that is good in the world. Events like Sandy Hook, and the transcendence of such tremendous loss, bring our own lives into perspective. That is a paradox of human nature I suppose. When events broke, we acknowledged the tragedy with a moment of silence at the faculty and staff dinner, by words spoken by Mr. Conroy at the girls basketball tournament, my letter home to families, our alumni office reaching out to those Williston graduates living In Newtown, and most visibly perhaps, by our flags flying at half-mast.
Your safety and the safety of everyone at Williston is always our top priority—and while you students may sometimes get annoyed by us nagging parents saying to pause for cars, tell us when you are leaving campus, or avoid getting into dangerous situations, we say these things because we care about you. Williston is a large family. We had an all school safety drill last fall and there will be others. I don’t know if some of you listening have lingering questions or fears about Sandy Hook, but if you do, counseling services, advisers, and mentors are here for you.
Let’s make 2013 a memorable and safe year at Williston and it’s great to have you all back.