Ms. Jean's Fourth Grade Recognition Remarks

Middle School Director Cyndy Jean welcomed our rising fifth graders on June 4, 2020.

Good morning, faculty, fourth-grade families and rising Middle School students.

Congratulations! You have reached an important milestone and an exciting transition! On behalf of all of the teachers in the Middle School, we welcome you to fifth grade!

One of my most cherished childhood memories I have was watching Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood. I know, I know, you are probably thinking ‘Who is that’? Or “Ms. Jean, Mr. Roger’s is so second grade!” but just give me a chance to share this quote with you and explain why I think it’s so important for you to hear it as rising middle schoolers.

Mr. Rogers once said, “As human beings, our job in life is to help people realize how rare and valuable each one of us really is, that each of us has something that no one else has - or ever will have - something inside that is unique to all time. It's our job to encourage each other to discover that uniqueness and to provide ways of developing its expression."

You are now officially middle schoolers, and as such, you have an exciting four years ahead of you. During these years, you will learn new skills, discover new interests, and make new friends. You will meet teachers that will challenge you to stretch your imagination, and you will begin to have conversations that teach you how to think about the world around you. You will discover your uniqueness, I hope, and the gifts that you bring to our community while honoring and celebrating the uniqueness of others in your class, in the Middle School, and beyond the Hilltop.

But I hope you will do something for our community, too. I hope you will push us to see you for all of your unique talents and gifts. I hope you will take the time to build the relationships with us that help us to celebrate you and to know you. And when you feel as if you haven’t been well understood or seen, I hope you won’t be afraid to say, “Hey, I want to share something that matters to me.”

In the Middle School, we have many opportunities for such interactions to take place. Maybe you’ve heard of our advisory groups, where you and seven other friends along with a teacher spend time together learning from each other. Or maybe you’ve heard about the opportunities to share your passions and interests with the school through bump-out meetings or Humans of Hackley events. Whatever the platform might be, I want you to know that the Middle School is yours! Don’t be shy. Make the most of it.

The world will one day rely on those unique gifts that you possess to make it a better place. So start now. We will help you to nurture and develop those talents, but we need you to believe first that it’s in you. Trust me. It’s there. And we also need you to remember and value the gifts of others, especially when those gifts differ from yours.

I can’t wait to welcome you officially to the Middle School in the fall. Until then, we hope you spend time outdoors, soaking in the sun, reading good books, listening to music, and engaging in activities that bring you joy. Happy summer and congratulations, fifth graders!