Dear Alumni & Friends:
In the inimitable words of Alice Cooper, “School’s out for summer!”
When I consider Cooper’s diatribe against school, I can comfort myself in knowing LA is out in front of his objections. We haven’t done away with pencils and books entirely, but we have blown “traditional” school wide open, and our students are the beneficiaries. Our student-centered, hands-on approach to education is transformative. Two occasions when we annually bear witness to those transformations are graduation and reunion.
This year, we graduated 101 seniors. I don’t know if you remember my December Elm Tree in which I featured one shy senior delivering his spoken word poem at the Senior Poetry Slam [Video Link], but one particular highlight of graduation 2016 was that same four-year senior Ben Gainsboro, who was selected by his peers to be one of their graduation speakers (Shea McDonald ’16, was our other outstanding student speaker [Video Link], and Jackie MacMullan, ESPN Analyst, was our visiting speaker [Video Link]).
For the past three years Ben has resisted speaking up in class. I should know, as I was Ben’s advisor for all four of his LA years. As they did at the Poetry Slam, the graduation audience responded with awed laughter and applause to Ben’s heartfelt graduation message which was delivered with his signature dry and self-deprecating humor [Video Link]. I particularly admire his culminating shout-out to the shy kid in the back row – a generous gesture which made his self-awareness a potentially transformative gift to underclassmen.
Reunion also treated us to stories of the many ways LA has been life-changing. Whether alumni were returning for their 50th or their 5th, they remembered the importance of their years on the quad, and above all, the relationships they had with each other and the faculty.
No teachers’ dirty looks here at LA. Instead, we continue to believe in kids and empower them to take chances, to grow, and to be leaders. While we are out for summer and excited about vacation, we’ll reconvene in September for our 224th year, and we’ll keep making a difference in our own way.
I hope you will enjoy the graduation and reunion videos:
Graduation 2016 Recap
LA Reunion 2016
From the hillside,
Assistant Head of School
BTW: The new campus entryway will be constructed this summer. Be sure to check our webpage (www.lacademy.edu) and social media (linked below) for updates on the progress. Anyone on or around Cape Cod this summer is encouraged to join us for an alumni gathering at the home of Bob and Lee Ellen Jones in Hyannisport on July 21. Be sure to register here. Have a wonderful summer!
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