Wow, what a week! While I catch my breath let me attempt to share with you what I witnessed from my Head of School perspective.
One great tradition at Dublin School involves every senior giving a thirty-minute presentation to the School. We feel it is important for our students to develop public speaking skills, learn how to build and share a narrative, and tell the community a little bit about who they are. For thirty minutes the student becomes the teacher. Recently we heard from Brianna Moore who shared her experience of growing up in a biracial context and what her extended family has meant to her. John Sandstedt spoke to us about a passion he has that very few people here knew about—his deep interest in glass blowing. Finally, Sabrina Hayden shared her experience of moving from Florida to New Hampshire and bringing with her the traditions of the Peruvian side of her family. Once again I felt so fortunate to work and live in such a diverse and inclusive community.
As part of our Writing Program, English Department Chair Rachael Jennings had English students read excerpts from their award winning entries in the Scholastic Writing awards. Once again our students shined in this competition, with Dublin writers winning a lopsided number of awards! It was powerful hearing them read their essays while the words were projected over the stage.
The Dublin Girls’ basketball team lit a fire in the community on Thursday afternoon during their River Valley Athletic League Championship game against Stoneleigh Burnam. SB had won the trophy every year since the founding of the RVAL so Dublin had its work cut out for them. Dublin surged to a lead, but SB fought back and the game went into overtime. Senior Sabrina Hayden was a rock for the Wildcats as SB shut down some of our other top players with a rigid defense. Dublin went on to the big victory and the gym erupted and the fans stormed the court. As a coach myself I love looking for the small turning points in a game such as this. One of my favorite moments took place when Coach Simon McFall looked at his bench and gestured to Amani Natson to enter the game. She looked back at Coach McFall with a look that expressed nervousness, excitement, and the surge of pride that comes when you see that someone believes in you at a critical juncture. Amani went in and raised her game to a new level, helping the Wildcats to victory. Sweet.
It was a great week in the out of doors. In a moment of weakness I canceled classes on Monday so the community could enjoy the first big snowstorm we have received in two years. After sleeping in, helping to shovel the walkways, and eating brunch a number of students ventured out into the hills with sleds and skis. We could hear screams of joy coming through the trees as the kids played in the deep snow.
The ski and snowboard teams are picking up speed as the season enters the championship phase. Mya Kerwin took the gold and Silas Howe placed fifth in the NEPSAC Class C Alpine championships, capping a season where Dublin School is suddenly on the rise.
Calvin and Lilly Bates had quite a week as well. On Tuesday they were named to the 42 member New England Team heading to Junior Nationals, on Wednesday they each won the Lakes Region Championship Race, and on Saturday they each won the largest high school ski race in the nation, the 800 skier New Hampshire qualifier for the Eastern High School Championships. George Henry Werowinski finished 2nd on Wednesday and Eighth on Saturday. Lilly, Calvin, George Henry, Agnes Macy, Quinn Wilson, and Robyn McIntosh all qualified as members of the 48 member NH team competing at the Eastern High School Championships in Vermont in March. Agnes and Quinn also qualified for the Eastern U16 Championships in Maine in March!
Last weekend 13 Dublin students and teachers traveled to Canada where they were hosted by Robyn’s family and competed in the two day, 100 mile Canadian Ski Marathon. See the related story to hear about their impressive accomplishments. It is validating to see the students enjoying the rewards of the hundreds of hours they put into their training and practice during a given year.
A few quick stories about meaningful work and service. Over the weekend Dublin students offered their second technology session with members of the larger Monadnock Region community at the Dublin Community Center. Students taught their elders about things like Instagram and Facebook. It was a big hit. On Friday and Saturday some of our Nordic skiers worked with and played games with our local Special Olympic skiers and with the five and six year olds in our local ski club. I love when our students can connect service to their expertise and make the community a better place in the process.
This week is all about Once on This Island. Talk about growth mindset and work ethic, these performers have been investing hours in this production. I am particularly excited to hear that senior Cameron Harrington has been helping with the directorial responsibilities on this show and Shaneil Wynter has been teaching and developing choreography. Come and see these awesome kids in action this week! That’s all for now…