School NewsSep 15, 2021
— updated Sep 15, 2021
124th school year underway
The 2021-22 school year kicked off with gusto on Thursday morning, with students, faculty, and staff gathering — in person! — as a community for the first time in more than 18 months. Click here to see photos.
To meet social distancing recommendations, the Opening Assembly was held in the Thatcher Family Gymnasium of the Anne Meyer Cross ’37 Athletic Center. Seniors each carried roses, an MHS tradition honoring their leadership, while processing into the gym. Head of School Julia Heaton P’24 opened the ceremony by introducing members of the School’s leadership team, who in turn spotlighted new faculty and staff joining us this year. School President Cailyn Tetteh ’22 then introduced this year’s Proctors, class officers, and school officers.
In her opening address, Ms. Heaton underscored the significance of being together again. “Already, the campus feels alive and reinvigorated by traditions and community events,” she said. “These moments of celebration and togetherness are what we call the “joyful and connected” Miss Hall’s experience.”
This “collective effervescence,” or the sense of energy and harmony people feel when they come together in a group around a shared purpose, helps build community, which also requires effort and practice, Ms. Heaton added. “Whether this is your first year at Miss Hall’s or your 31st year, we are all starting anew today,” she explained. “We have not been all together before, so we are going to have to practice, remember the ways we used to gather together, and try out some new ways, too. Together, we get to shape each moment of this year to suit this special collection of people. We get to form our community as we want it to be, for us, by us.”
In her remarks, Cailyn welcomed new students, advising them to be themselves. “There is no ‘right way’ to be a Miss Hall’s student,” she said. “You’re already doing the right thing just by being here.” Speaking to returning students, Cailyn acknowledged that there will be some adjustments after not being together for so long, and, speaking to faculty and staff, she thanked them for the work done to return to in-person learning. Addressing fellow seniors, Cailyn reminded them to cherish the moment, even while thinking of future plans. “We’re all here together right now, and there was a time when nobody knew if that could ever happen again,” she said. “We’re here to make this the best year possible, to live together, work together, make memories, and grow together.”
The ceremony closed with the year’s first rendition of the Alma Mater and an all-school photograph. Students then processed from the Cross through a corridor of applauding faculty and staff, who cheered on students as they headed toward the year’s first class.
It is wonderful to be back together again!