Overcoming Adversity and Supporting and Celebrating Accomplishments

Dear Family and Friends,

Today, I had the honor to learn from a survivor of the Holocaust, Mrs. Rifka Glatz, as she spoke to a group of our cadets. As the tears beaded and slowly descended our cheeks, she spoke of the immoral atrocities that man has inflicted upon man, and I was given hope by the teachings she presented based on the foundations of this horrific experience, to be kind, love everyone, and accept all for who they are. That any one person could take such an extreme experience of man’s inhumanity toward man and transform it into such a divine message casts a brilliant light upon the dreams for our future. I would encourage us all to embrace the attitude exemplified by this amazing woman to turn our seemingly insurmountable trials and challenges into a beacon to enlighten our journey through life.

To put these reflections into perspective, I am brought to mind the struggles we have met, passed, and still wrestle with in our daily lives as students, parents, teachers and staff, and leaders here in our educational environment and at home. Disagreements with our loved ones, colleagues, and our teachers and supervisors present seemingly endless conflicts that affect our personal mental acuity and can often lead us to question our convictions in the path we have set for ourselves. As we absorb these influential experiences and seek to justify our motivations to continue on this path, we need to reflect on the greater image of a world of our own making that reflects the values and morals that we deem foundational. Looking back at the challenges we have overcome, and reflecting on the adversities that have steeled the resolve of great women like Rifka Glatz and Rosa Parks or men like Nelson Mandela and Stephen Hawking, adds perspective to our challenges and the potential for the positive.

Take a few moments to look closely at the trials and tribulations you have endured this past year and seek the kernel of knowledge or the nugget of virtue that may be gleaned from that experience. Allow the adversities to support the foundation of a proud, honest, and admirable leader for the future. Take a moment to celebrate the perseverance necessary to overcome those adversities. With grit and determination, apply that experiential knowledge to future endeavors, building a strength and resiliency that will guide your character to build an identity that exemplifies a pride through honor, integrity and respect for self and the community as a whole.

Yours in Service,

Frederick T. Fout, Head of School