I couldn’t leave without sending you an official thank you note … and a loving good-bye. It has been a privilege and one of the greatest pleasures of my life to be your Head of School. The school was founded 50 years ago by the profoundly courageous visionary, Father Sam D’ Amico. In the midst of the raging anger, racism and upheaval of the 1960’s, Sam conjured a school when children of varied colors, creeds, and cultures could forge the kind of transformative, lifelong friendships that would inoculate them against the toxins that threatened to destroy the dreams of Martin, Jack, Bobby, Malcolm, and Medgar. Dedicated to serving others and to academic excellence, Sam marshaled a children’s brigade and armed them to defend justice and equity in all it forms. I have been a proud torchbearer of that dream. What’s more we’ve created an environment of sheer joy where children thrive as they learn … about themselves, each other, and about the world around them.
While it was never mandated that we join the parish, Ron and I would never have had it any other way. This congregation has embraced us, honored us, and integrated us into its life and work. Each of you has become a special friend. We know your stories and you know ours. We have grown together in wisdom age and grace. Loving you as we do has made leaving you very difficult. But our souls have been nourished and our spirits strengthened; and we are girded for the journey ahead. Of this I am very sure: we will most certainly never forget you.
As part of their contractual agreement, many Heads of School make astronomical salaries topped by generous bonuses. Most of them, we might say, make a very good living; but I have won the golden ticket by leading St. James’. Because you trusted me to run your school and welcomed Ron and me into the congregation, we have made a life. And each of you has done your part to build with us these last seven years, not just a simple edifice made of bricks and mortar, but a cathedral with towering spires that will live forever … and all of it is made of a material impervious to storms and fires, earthquakes and wars … because it is made of love.
May God bless you always,
Head of School