There is a certain type of energy that comes with the first week of school, and I hope your children have returned home showing signs of excitement and curiosity about all that lies before them. At our opening all-school assembly, our students and faculty helped us launch the 100th academic year of Tower Hill School, complete with 500 green and white balloons that descended from the ceiling of Weaver Gym.
As you know, our word for the year is INTEGRITY. It is always a good challenge for any head of school addressing a wide age range of students on opening day to attempt an explanation of a word like integrity! However, I believe even the youngest members of our community can understand. I shared the following remarks with our students and faculty on opening day:
Our founders would be so proud of the mission of the school they created nearly a century ago. Tower Hill’s mission has great INTEGRITY. This means that our mission has stayed true. It stands for something that has stood the test of time. While times have surely changed, the bedrock of our school's mission has great integrity. Our mission to “prepare students from diverse backgrounds for full and creative engagement with a dynamic world,” is absolutely what we are about as a school community today. We are a school of Wilmington and of the world; we value an excellent and rigorous education within a warm, close-knit community.
For all of you who are new to Tower Hill, we welcome you to this community and encourage you to ask lots of questions and to share your ideas and observations. We all benefit by welcoming new perspectives and new friends to the Tower Hill community. Our word for the year is INTEGRITY, and your teachers and I want you to have integrity in all you do here at Tower Hill and in your lives. Part of having integrity is to always be honest, to never take shortcuts, to put in the hard work, to stand for what is right and just, and to have strong values. It is often the case, that if we have integrity on a day-to-day basis, good things happen. Integrity is doing things right and in the right way. Integrity can be represented in big and small ways.
Last week, something cool happened on campus. Mr. Speers and a few teachers went out by the baseball cages and harvested honey from Tower Hill’s beehives. You can see from this jar of Hiller Honey that Tower Hill bees have been hard at work! Each bee in the Tower hill hive has a role, each is part of a community, and each works hard taking care of their hive every day. So we could say that Tower Hill bees have integrity because they work hard day in and day out, and in doing so, they make something good happen.
And sometimes integrity can take practice. Have any of you heard about this dance called the Floss? This dance is meant to be done a certain way. It has integrity, and in order to honor the integrity of this dance, you have to get it right! I have been practicing... and as you can see, I still have some work to do to honor the integrity of the Floss, and I invite those of you who know this dance to help teach me!
We have incredibly dedicated and talented teachers who are eager to help our students be their best selves now and in the future. As teacher Mr. Jack Smith encouraged all of us at opening faculty meeting, “Though it may not always be clear where that future will take us, we can all do our part to make sure we are heading in a positive direction. Let’s commit ourselves now to making this coming year the best it can be for our students as we launch Tower Hill towards its second century of excellence.”
I couldn't be more excited about the year ahead, and thank each of you for your support of this wonderful school and most of all, for your children.
Happy New Year!
Elizabeth C. Speers
Head of School