Head of School's Message: June 1

Last Monday, during snack time, a kindergarten boy was sitting on the bench outside my office, crying inconsolably.
Tears can be a source of grace, joy, misery or pain. These were the miserable ones. I sat next to him and asked what the matter was. He calmed down enough to tell me that his shoes weren’t working. A button on the tongue, when pushed, should have lit up part of the shoe. The lights were not working on both shoes. They were new shoes (for crying out loud), and he was devastated. I helped him take his shoes off, and we pushed and prodded the buttons but nothing happened. I tried to console him by saying his parents would probably exchange the shoes for another pair that worked. That was not what he wanted to hear. The crying grew in intensity until Emily Brown came to the rescue and calmed him down with a few gentle words. He walked off to class. 
 
Just like the shoes that would not light up for our kindergarten student, this has not been the school year that our students were expecting, but together, as a community, we have taken good care of the kids. We cannot exchange this year that ends next week for a new one, but we can look forward with optimism and a high degree of certainty to next year.
 
In a speech to the graduates of Boston College last week, New York Times columnist David Brooks said that there are good things about enduring a hard thing when you are young, “Forever after, you’ll know you have the capacity to survive hard things. And you don’t need to be terrified of them.” The shoe experience will be one of many from this year that will shape the character of our kindergartener. For all our students, parents and faculty, this has been a hard year, but Spring is here, and we are now moving as David Brooks said to BC graduates, “From restraint to release, from absence to presence.”
 
On Friday morning CFA President Charanya Kumar and Scrip Chair Jenny Kaw were sitting at a table outside the school on Armada Drive, stuffing envelopes with Amazon gift cards for every faculty and staff member. They praised Chandler’s faculty and staff and the commitment of Chandler’s CFA volunteers, who have worked hard to maintain connections with everyone this year. “I know the school year is ending, but it’s only just begun,” said Jenny. This topsy-turvy, pandemic school year is ending on a high note. 
 
On behalf of Chandler’s faculty, staff and administration, thanks to the CFA for their gift. We are grateful to the parent body for supporting their children and for partnering with Chandler teachers to deliver Chandler’s mission throughout this uniquely challenging, disruptive school year. Chandler’s 70th has been a memorable and unforgettable experience.
 
Chandler Board President Dr. Joseph Lin will be writing an end-of-year message in this space next week, so it remains for me to wish you a safe, healthy, restful summer. We will be communicating with you about the new school year in due course. I look forward to seeing each of you in person to thank you for choosing to send your child to Chandler in the not too distant future.
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