To begin, I’d like to return to something our student government president, Chelsea Gardner, so beautifully articulated at the start of our program. Chelsea explained that an expanded definition of family is not just limited to those to whom you are related, but includes individuals who partake in the communities that you identify with and the people with whom you can be yourself and feel comfortable.
Thinking of Hewitt as part of your “extended family” or a “second home” (as I’ve often heard it described) is no accident. We are incredibly fortunate to be a part of this school community. And we should not take that for granted. In this season of thanks, let us take a moment to honor the people who make Hewitt not just a school but also a family and a second home for so many of us.
Thank you to all Hewitt teachers and staff, whose commitment to honing their craft and to the growth and development of girls and young women are an inspiration to us all.
Thank you to our student body for your willingness to try new things and to take intellectual and social risks. Thank you for realizing how lucky you are to be here and for making the most out of your Hewitt experience. Above all, thank you for your humanity and kindness to one another and for modeling the kind of behavior you would like to see in others. Watching you become strong, confident young women over time is why we are called to this work.
Thank you to Hewitt’s security team. We sincerely appreciate all that you do behind the scenes to keep our school safe and secure so that we can stay focused on teaching and learning.
And last but not least, I would like to take a moment to thank Hewitt’s maintenance team. This group of dedicated and incredibly hard-working professionals comes to work each and every day to ensure the cleanliness and safety of the spaces in which we learn and teach, grow and thrive. Without them, Hewitt would not be the warm, nurturing, and empowering place that it is for girls and young women.
Earlier this year, a member of the maintenance team told me, “The ability to help teachers and students makes me feel so good.” Our maintenance team doesn’t do its work to be in the spotlight, but so that others will shine. Today, we shine the spotlight on them to show our gratitude for the amazing work they do for each and every one of us in this room.
In August, I asked our maintenance team what they loved most about Hewitt. Much like Chelsea, they said that this feels like a home, that they love how we show each other respect each and every day, that we are all “in this together.” One of the members of the team asked for a translation into Spanish, and I turned to him and in my broken Spanish said, “Nosotros juntos.” We. Together. He smiled and nodded his head in affirmation.
Let us be grateful that, at Hewitt, we are all together, that we are a part of a community that unites us, even in our differences.
As you leave today’s assembly, remember to enjoy your families, enjoy your friends, enjoy being together, and have a happy Thanksgiving.
Dr. Kinsey delivered these remarks at Hewitt's 2015 Thanksgiving assembly.