Thank you …

 

 

This is my last opportunity to say a few words as a Board member.  So if you’ll bear with me, I will do so.

 

New Trier is a high school.  Nevertheless it has taken me 8 years to graduate, so some may say I am a slow learner.  But I have learned a few things along the way.

 

I have learned what a great faculty and staff New Trier has.  It has been a privilege to get to know some of them.   I know they are great in a number of ways, one of which has been going to school.

 

I have tried to spend a day at each campus each year attending classes.  Wes Baumann and later Debbie Stacey in Winnetka and Jan Borja here in Northfield have provided the guidance.  I asked to go to classes at all levels and in all subjects and that they thought I should see. While I’m not going to pretend that everything was perfect, overall I have been extremely impressed with the enthusiasm of the faculty, their preparation, their interest in their students, and their passion for student growth.  I probably embarrassed myself a couple of times by raising my hand because a class discussion was so compelling and exciting I had to participate.

 

I have learned what a tolerant place New Trier is.  I think we often take it for granted, but very few places allow the emotional and intellectual space for students and faculty to have such differing opinions about academic, political, religious, and social issues.  Having done a compare and contrast visit with my own high school, I think New Trier is blessed with an atmosphere of tolerance, intellectual and otherwise,  way beyond most public high schools.

 

I have learned that many at New Trier by their lives and actions are living embodiments of the New Trier Motto – lives to inquiry; hearts to compassion; lives to service of humanity.  And I don’t mean just faculty in daily contact with students.  I include other staff and administration who though their personal integrity lived out at school, the style of their interaction with others, and their care, interest. and compassion with students have transmitted the core values of the Motto to succeeding generations. 

 

I have learned that, in my opinion, New Trier’s growing edge is expanding those core values into a wider and wider understanding of our community in terms of geographical boundaries but also in terms of the focus of our inquiry, compassion, and service.

 

I have learned a lot about politics at the community, school and Board level.

 

I have learned how strong our executive leadership has become.  The Administration keeps on getting better and better, more self-confident, and focused on preserving the best of  New Trier while introducing change when change means growth.  As I leave the Board I feel very good about the Administrative team which will provide much of the leadership at New Trier in the coming years.

 

I have learned a lot from my fellow Board members.  In a sense they have helped complete my education, and I am grateful to them.  And I feel good about Wendy and Bob, who will replace Chuck and me.  With the entire new board, I think New Trier is in good hands. 

 

I have learned to appreciate the opportunity the electorate has given me to attempt to represent them and to provide leadership in the electorate’s name.  I hope I have done so.  I certainly have tried.  I have grown personally from the chance to try.  I am deeply grateful for the opportunity.

 

I have learned that I will miss seeing many people whom I have come to know as a result of my Board service. 

 

In short, I think I have learned enough to merit my graduation from the Board, even though I am a slow learner.