As your children and our students returned to school on Wednesday, there was a particularly colorful confluence while I was shaking hands with students on the front steps. While shiny new sneakers, backpacks, fresh faces of hope and anticipation paraded up the front steps of the school, a pair of large portraits of two of Tower Hill's founding fathers were also being brought up the front steps. These portraits, which have hung proudly in the front of the school, were also "coming back to school," up the same front stairs they built in 1919, after their summer break special portrait cleaning!
As I chuckled at the timing of our founders and our students coming up the stairs together on the first day of school, it was indeed perfect! These foresightful and visionary gentlemen were literally surrounded by our students as they reentered the school building together. Tower Hill's proud history and tradition intermingled with the future of our school — our students — are certainly a powerful combination and seem a fitting way to begin the year. Our founders would surely be proud of what they created 97 years ago! Do have a look as you enter the school next time, as their kind eyes are ever watchful and proud as teachers, parents, students and alumni carry on their legacy each day.
At our Opening All School Assembly on Wednesday, we were honored to welcome Olympian Caitlin Van Sickle, who graduated from Tower Hill in 2008 and competed in Rio with the U.S. Field Hockey team. Introduced by our three field hockey captains, Louise Conaty, Janie Mitchell and Isabel Zungailia, Caitlin inspired us with her story of walking onto the UNC field hockey team and dreaming big to eventually make it to the Olympics.
At opening faculty meeting last week, our faculty lit the "Tower Hill torch." As a way of thanking and honoring Caitlin, and also as a way of carrying on the kindness, respect, hard work and inclusivity that is so important to our school mission and our motto “Many Things Done Well,” we passed the Tower Hill Torch to our students at opening assembly. For as in the words of poet W.B. Yeats, “education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.”
Here is to a wonderful school year for you and your children. Thanks for all you do to support our mission. The Tower Hill Torch has indeed been lit!
Elizabeth C. Speers