As we enter the final days of the 2017-2018 school year, it’s a good time to reflect on our accomplishments of the past year and recognize those who are responsible. Before that, there is much to report about from May and look forward to in June.
May began with Barnard’s epic trip to the Red Sox Game and STEM presentation at Historic Fenway Park. With staff, students and parents accompanying Kindergarteners and First Graders we had over 100 attendees traveling in 2 luxurious coach busses. The weather was perfect and the Sox beat Kansas City 5-4 with 3 home runs by Mookie Betts!
The month continued with our annual Celebration of Learning on the evening of Tuesday, May 15 and the weather again coincidentally worked for us again (it rained)! The track meet, practices and games were rained out sending families all here to see the music videos of all classes played throughout the building, artwork displays on all the hallways and filling the gym, a chorus presentation in the Compass, and PTA refreshments. In addition, the teachers had displays of student work and Mr. Szeliga’s students unveiled their “Little Free Libraries” in honor of our beloved Carol Dugan. It was an amazing evening thanks to the efforts of Ms. Lindsay with her displays of student artwork, Ms. Dozet with her live and recorded student performances and the rest of the classroom teachers showcasing and providing commentary of student work.
On the following Tuesday, Grades 4-8 travelled to the Tsongas Industrial Historical Center/ Boot Cotton Mills Museum in Lowell to participate in their “Bale to Bolt” daylong learning program. The visit included the history of mills in New England and the Lowell “mill girls,” a tour of the working mill and residences for the workers, and a hands-on weaving activity for all the students. It was an amazing experience to see the rich heritage and history of the industry that shaped the foundation of our economy and relied so much on the production of the slaves in plantations in the south. The weaving products of the students are expected to arrive shortly.
May continued with the final early release day on Friday May 25 when the staff traditionally prepares the schedule of events for the following years and renews school goals. Dr. Huston was able to attend, so I turned over the reins so he could work with the staff and get more acquainted. Mrs. Orlando, our social director, set up a potluck lunch to kick the afternoon off.
I spent the final week of the month in DC with Grade 8 accompanied by Sara Casassa and Kira Hayes. As always it was a very active 3 days crammed with visits to monuments and museums, highlighted with a Potomac Riverboat Sunset Cruise, Arlington National Cemetery changing of the guard and a Ghost Tour of Historic Alexandria. Grade 8 made us proud as we shared the trip with Consentino School in Haverhill and I want to especially thank Ms. Casassa and Mrs. Hayes for their 16 plus hour days caring for our kids!
While we were away, Grades K-7 participated in our annual Field Day. It was another successful event due to the efforts of Mrs. Meehan, supportive teachers, and helpful students in Grade 7. Thank you again PTA for refreshments.
As we head into June we will send our 5 young women and 4 young men from Grade 8 on to their futures on the evening of Thursday, June 21 and finish the year with an Early Release Day on Friday, June 22.
Lastly I want to reflect on these 6 great years at Barnard School. In those very short years we have graduated 44 Grade 8 students sending them on to Amesbury HS and other schools and nearly 150 students have passed through our doors. We have had many staff changes, added a Science Lab, and reconfigured our grade levels along with many improvements and enhancements. This was all due to the efforts of an amazing faculty and support staff, an incredibly supportive community led by a dedicated School Board and SAU Administration, and the most wonderful collection of eager, respectful, hard working, and cheerful boys and girls. I am grateful to them all for the honor and privilege of serving them.
Thank you all for these 6 years! Donald Wharton was PSU President while I attended there, retiring in 2006, and his goal was “to leave the woodpile higher than I found it.” I hope the fires will be burning brightly in South Hampton this winter and many beyond.
Ken Darsney, (Mr. “D”)
Barnard School Principal