New lights illuminate the main hallway at South High School


The first day of school is always special to so many people. 

Some of our kindergartners will have their first experience with school.  Some of their parents will probably shed a few tears once they get home, in disbelief that their baby’s all grown up. 

Some of our fifth, eighth, and twelfth graders will feel like the kings of the hill, proudly strutting the hallways as the new leaders of their schools.  Some of our sixth graders and freshman will walk gingerly, looking for familiar and friendly faces to share their well-hidden angst. 

Some of our new teachers will stop and pinch themselves, still a little in shock that they are actually there – in their own classroom alone with their own students.  Some of their well-experienced neighbors will sidle up to them at lunch and re-assure them that they were once there as well. 

All of these emotions make our schools a special place – a special institution.  The emotions run the gamut from pride to humility and from fear to hope.  All are real. 

Taking in these 8,000 students and 850 staff members is an incredible responsibility.  I take solace in knowing that we have created a tremendous culture of care and capability.  Our students will be welcome into beautiful buildings led by caring principals and taught by some of the best teachers in the world.  They will do well.  They will be taken care of.  They will ultimately leave their own mark not only here and now, but in the long run as well. 

Enjoy it all, the highs and the lows.  You can’t have one without the other. 

I wish everyone a wonderful new school year.