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As we gathered on the playground last Wednesday morning to photograph our entire student body and staff, I was reminded how much I had missed seeing all of us in one place. Although we have been in the same building all year, we have not been able to gather as a whole school. It felt good to be in one place to celebrate the end of a school year that has brought both challenges and opportunities to all of us.

To commemorate this year, our Middle School art students created a “mask canopy” as their final project. Each student contributed a face mask and wrote a message of hope on it before adding it to an installation, which now hangs across our main entrance. As the masks move in the breeze, students imagine their messages being carried by the wind. Each time I drive onto campus, I see it again and am, again, deeply moved. Masks have taken on various meanings this year, but the art installation has allowed students to transform them into something more meaningful, something that speaks to each of us in a different way.

For me, the mask canopy bears witness to our capacity to do hard things, to take care of one another, and to make sacrifices for each other. I am pleased that we have been able to make this school year work with both virtual and in-person learning, and I look forward to a return to conditions that will allow us to rub shoulders once again. We thrive best — we learn best — in close community, after all. I hope this summer gives you time to enjoy your people, read good books together, and reflect on the year and what it has meant for you and those you love. We look forward to seeing you back here in August!