Hello there Jaguar families, and welcome to the end of the 2018/19 school year! I am filled with a wide array of emotions as I sit down to compose my last Jaguar Weekly as the leader of this amazing little school. I am extremely proud of what we have accomplished as a school community over the past 6 years, a period of time which has allowed me to establish some very firm roots here at John Muir. I cannot thank you enough, as the parents, families and care-givers, for the support you have provided within this school. This is a very special building, which is a true testament to the entire John Muir community. I will so miss seeing all of you each and every day! Before I pass this proverbial torch onto the capable Mr. Meaussette, let me attempt to paint a worthy picture of the last four days here in Jaguar-ville…
Tuesday afternoon marked a very special moment in the lives of our Grade 5 students, as we hosted our annual Grade 5 Leaving Ceremony. This is another highlight for me, as it provided us an opportunity to celebrate this amazing crew. This was also the first K class when I arrived at John Muir a short 6 years ago. As I watched each of these capable young humans walk across that stage, my heart swelled with pride. Although we have faced many hurdles together over the past few years, I am certain these Jaguars are on a journey to life-long happiness and satisfaction. You are raising some well-adjusted and giving humans, and for that we are all very grateful. I would also like to offer my most sincere gratitude to Mrs. Lovbakke and Mrs. Jacobsen, not only for their masterful guidance with these 5’s throughout the year, but also for their heartfelt parting messages about each and every one of these precious Jaguars. As we know, our students are a reflection of the strength of a community, and this was a proud representation to all of the adults whom have helped to mould these impressionable little ones. Thus, well done to all!
I would like to send out a huge thank you to Christina Parsons and her crew from Superstore. On Tuesday morning Christina brought with her an extremely capable fleet of assistants, including Katie’s grammy Anne. This amazing group of humans managed to satiate the hunger pangs of over 200 hungry Jaguars! Thank you to Superstore for their continued generosity! Of special note, I do not tend to be a hotdog guy, but these were delicious!
On Wednesday morning we trekked, as an entire school, to our local shoreline hotspot—the one and only Ella Beach. This is such a well-timed yearly adventure, as it provides our Jaguars some much needed downtime in an exciting week. Equally as important it allows the adults an opportunity to celebrate the relationships they have worked so diligently to forge throughout the year. For those parents whom were able to join us, you would have noticed fort building, socializing, rock throwing (yes into the water J), sea-weed collecting, and the ever popular beach entrepreneurship. These whole-school trips to Ella are very unique to John Muir, and I feel so fortunate to have been a part of these over the past 6 years! Saseenos seems a fairly long walk from Ella Beach…
This year we decided to separate our year-end ceremony into two equally important pieces. With the aforementioned Grade 5 Leaving Ceremony occurring this past Tuesday, we utilized the last day of school as an opportunity to say a heart-felt goodbye to staff that are moving on and to showcase the highly anticipated year-end slide show. Between recess and lunch our entire school assembled in the gymnasium for an emotional year end celebration. As this was my farewell to the school, this proved a very emotional assembly for me, as you can well imagine. To those John Muir staff not returning next year, all of whom were recognized with some heartfelt thoughts at our gathering, I would like to sincerely thank you for all that you have provided to our school throughout this year. As I tend to mention, this is a very special place but it can only be as strong as its community members—what a true testament to all of you!
As an individual whom is unafraid to display genuine emotion (probably just can’t hide it well!!), I was very moved throughout this entire ceremony. As is a natural element to the school system, the end of June brings with it many goodbyes. Some are a mere ‘so-long’ for the summer, whilst others seem much more permanent. A wise individual once shared with me the value of exclaiming ‘see you later’ rather than ‘good-bye’ and it is with this tenet that I shall approach my own departure.
To our staff, I cannot say merely enough about each and every one of you. I so vividly recall my first visit to John Muir back in the Spring of 2013, and that feeling of being so welcomed with open arms from the moment I walked through those vaunted front doors. As a staff you comprise that perfect blend of love, laughter, educational brilliance and genuine grit—the essential ingredients to school success. Each of you bring such a wealth of life experience to this school, which is invaluable. However, it is that ability to truly care for the hearts of each of our little ones that make you so special. That will be the lasting legacy you have impressed upon me, and I can only hope to experience this type of care and love in my future school communities. Thank you for being you.
To our parents, guardians, extended families and care-givers I cannot thank you enough for the love and support that each of you contribute to this fortunate school community. As we all know, a strong community will breed strong humans, and John Muir is a genuine reflection of this statement. I will dearly miss the warmth and strength of the John Muir community, which is such a strong reflection of our amazing families. Thank you for being such strong advocates for your little ones, and for making John Muir such a precious place to learn, love and laugh. I look forward to seeing many of you in and around our lovely little town.
To our students, this has been one amazing ride! The mutual love I feel from each of you fills my heart to capacity, and just brings a true smile to my face. On even my toughest days, just seeing you in the hallways, classrooms or playground was enough to brighten my outlook. I have learned so much from you over the past few years, which will follow me to Saseenos and throughout the rest of my life. You have embraced the value of kindness, honesty and respect, but it is your love and care that will resonate with me as I finish my time as a Jaguar. Thank you for always bringing a smile to my face, and for feeling safe and comfortable to be yourselves. Please maintain this confidence to be the best you possible, and always know that you have made a lasting impression with me—I’m a Jaguar for Life! I will miss you, but this is a ‘see you later’ and definitely not a ‘good-bye’.
I could potentially continue this correspondence for much longer, but this was way tougher than I imagined! Needless to say, John Muir will forever hold a special place in my heart. I thank you for the past 6 years, and I can only thank my superiors for having the foresight to assign me to a school which has helped me grow both as an individual and a professional.
Please have a wonderful summer, and I look forward to seeing you again.