The Finish Line Approaches

The phrase “limping to the finish line” might have some glory when it pertains to the completion of a marathon. The phrase connotes an injured, gritty runner marshalling every ounce of will to make it to the end of a 26.2 mile course. When it comes to the school year, however, it is much better to finish strong.

Finishing well is an art, and one that we want to both encourage and model here at Greenhill. In the last several days, I have observed numerous examples of finishing strong.

Four members of the Class of 2011 completed Senior Capstone projects, and their culminating presentations reflected the work of a year. Katrina Thompson’s informal reading of her original play, Jeremy Cain’s visual and analytical display, Eriq Robinson’s original work of music and poetry, and Ryan Kline’s short film have amazed and delighted their peers and teachers. All four have taken the opportunity to delve into areas of passionate interest. Guided by the advice of their mentors, but mostly by their own will, these soon-to-be-graduates completed independent, intense projects that clearly prepare them for college-level work. They are all examples of finishing well.

Finishing well can take the form of a celebration of learning. Fourth graders traveled to Austin to meet our state’s leaders as a culminating Lower School experience. Their year-long thematic focus on leadership took on practical applications when they met elected officials and toured the State Capitol.

Around campus, I observed eighth graders rehearsing scenes from Romeo and Juliet. Enthusiastic swordplay and the Bard’s enduring words echoed throughout the Quad. Also enjoying the weather were Upper School students preparing for exams, huddled around laptops and consulting one another.

Farewell picnics offer our Lower School children and their parents time to celebrate their year together and all that they have learned. And final Lower School family conferences speak to a year of growth and learning with an anticipatory peek at the year to come. Both students and parents leave with feelings of accomplishment.

As I travel the campus, energy is high, smiles are bright, and feelings of satisfaction abound. No one here seems to be limping to the finish line. Summer will be the perfect time to reflect on all that happened in 2010-11. The Greenhill community won’t be slowing down until then.

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