A recent submission to the 2016-2017 Yearbook:
Beyond the Blue
" Because there's nothing more beautiful than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline, no matter how many times it is sent away." Julie Boehr
Our 2017 valedictorian, Katie Van Kampen gave a speech in which she drew a wonderful parallel between the ocean and life. It was so moving and powerful that she has influenced the theme of this yearbook. Using the metaphorical opportunities of the ocean is a welcome challenge.
Like life, the ocean can be gentle, playful, ferocious, and mysterious. It can be simple and serene on the surface, yet so very complex underneath. It can provide momentum, and at other times, tremendous resistance. On occasion, we are reminded to respect its lethal force, while at the same time, appreciating its vastness and opportunity. Like life, the ocean holds mystery, suspense and wonder.
I called Katie recently and asked her to comment on her first month at university. She said that she was having a great time studying life sciences at McMaster University in Hamilton. The workload is heavy, but she felt that she is doing a good job remaining on top of things. One of her favourite elective courses is called "Inquiry", which examines a wide selection of unpredictable topics. She is waking up at 4:30AM to train for her junior rowing team and loves the way it starts her day! Katie is living close to campus with three supportive roommates from 2 different countries. Our chat confirmed once again that Aberdeen Hall is doing a good job at preparing the students both academically and emotionally for the incredible challenges of young adulthood.
As I reflect on the 2016-2017 school year, I fondly remember success on many fronts. I watched 38 outstanding graduate students walk the stage in their cap and gown. These same grads that took the time to gently and playfully lead the kindergarten students during buddy days, - or perhaps it was our bright 5-year olds leading the grads!
We had athletes giving it their all on the court and in the field, budding musicians and actors having the courage to provide multiple performances, young scientists presenting at science fairs, and countless outreach and volunteering endeavors. Many times as I came down the floating staircase into the Great Hall, I would see students collaborating on projects, studying intently on their own or taking a moment to talk with a friend in another grade. What an amazing group of students you are!
You should be proud of your many accomplishments. From academic challenges met and exceeded, to the many times you have had the courage to step outside your comfort zone and try something new in the arts or athletics, to volunteer opportunities that provide a lasting benefit to those they have reached out to, the list is very long. Your teachers are very proud of you, for all you are and for all we see that you will become.
Ever since its inception, Aberdeen Hall has ridden the crest of a tremendous wave, one that is not showing any sign of slowing down. We are so very glad that you have joined us on our journey and please know that you will always be part of our community even as you graduate and jump to the next wave of your life. Take a moment to congratulate yourself, sit back and reflect on fond memories, you had a great year.
Head of School