Working with my seniors has been a source of inspiration and joy. This class of students is full of delightful, compassionate, hard-working students.  Although this newsletter highlights some of your accomplishments, I am hopeful that students in other grades will find your examples inspiring and will follow in your footsteps.

    I have a birds-eye view of the dreams and aspirations of students who are incredibly varied and bright.  From the budding entrepreneurs who are developing business plans that take into account environmental sustainability and humane treatment of employees; to those sharing their expertise and views on public radio; from the volunteers who will venture beyond Marin to serve your communities nationwide; from the competitive bikers who plan to break into the Olympics, to the Mock Trial, Model UN and Chicos Juntas participants who will expand their forums internationally; to the artists whose crafts are include spoken and written word, as well as murals, photographs, sculptures and drumming; to the scientists focused on exploring artificial intelligence; to the jugglers and actors spreading excitement with each performance; to the GSE crew intent on feeding the world one organic tomato at a time; I take great delight in watching you expand beyond the comfort zones of childhood and dream about the expansive horizons and opportunities of adulthood.

    To all of you students who have overcome great adversity and heartbreaking loss, yet never let go of your hopes and dreams, you have earned my respect and admiration.  To the Marin General volunteers who envision yourselves serving the health needs of your local community as well as serving globally with Doctors Without Borders, to the Leaders in the community (Link Crew, Peer Resource, PALS), who see their calling as “service to others” and will stop at nothing short of creating change, I believe you have the power to be the change you want to see in the world, and that gives me great hope for humanity.

    From the artists whose work hangs on my office wall, to the screenwriters and theatre enthusiasts who will write novels that will be read by future Drake students and stage manage productions we can't wait to see, I applaud your creativity and see your futures as unbridled. From the student who cannot decide if she wants to enter college next year or travel the globe playing her ukulele, your youthful exuberance is a delight.

    For all of you who are in the midst of figuring it all out and cannot check any box other than undeclared on your college application, or may need to throw a dart at a world map in order to determine your gap year destination, I say: take academic risks, travel broadly, and pursue intellectual and emotional development for no reason other than to improve your own life.  Picking a major will be easy once you have gotten to know yourself a little better.  You have decades to go, and taking some time to explore your inner drive is a worthwhile endeavor.  For those of you who are courageous enough to know that a few D's in 9th grade won’t stop you from reaching high, I say, go for your goals with a sense of resilience and fearlessness.  Never forget that failure is one of the best paths to success.

    You are getting ready to venture out and determine where your place will be in the world and how you want to define yourselves.  You are questioning your values, your faiths, your abilities, and hopefully, you will come to the realization that each year on the planet you will grown wiser, more balanced and have more to offer than you ever imagined possible when you first walked onto campus at the age of 14.

    I always say that I am so lucky to get the best 9th graders each year.  Then four years later, I have had the good fortune to see so many of you emerging as young adults who are molding futures focused on intellectual and emotional development, as well as creating beauty and support for your communities.  This year has been, once again, incomparable.

    Thank you, senior students, for sharing your hopes, your college essays, your laughter, your teen fears and exhilarations, and oh so many laughs with me.


    P.S.  Now it’s time for students to write Thank You notes to all the folks who wrote you a letter of recommendation for college.  Doesn’t have to be fancy, but it does have to be hand written.