Winter Concert Words

Yesterday, students in grades kindergarten through ninth grade performed in our annual Winter Concert. It was a great day. Everyone sings — boys, girls, and students in every grade. At one point, nearly our whole student body, grades 1-9, came together and belted out holiday tunes together — it truly was our entire student body making music together.

Before the concert began, Mrs. Wells began with a few words. Here they are:

Welcome. Today marks the unofficial kickoff to the holiday season. It’s a season we spend thinking about and creating joy…You’ll see in today’s program some words from many of our students about joy.

I want to tell you two things.

First, that students on our campus know and express joy. Real joy. I can say that without any doubt, as I see it everywhere I go. I teach, coach, work with our student council, do recess duty, go to morning meetings, assemblies, and more. I am with students a good part of each day.

While they surely have their struggles that go along with growing up, and they work very, very hard, their days really are filled with joy.

I believe a lot of that is because at Pine Cobble we are not bound by red tape. We are so fortunate to never have to sacrifice children’s needs to adult agendas.

If its good for kids, we do it.

The second thing I want to tell you is that ability to simply do what’s best for kids is increasingly rare. We all hear it over and over: kids are marketed to, they are bullied, belittled, and they are tested so heavily that they never learn that the world is a place filled with wonder.

Not here. Oh, how I wish what’s best for kids were always what people who set policy and work with kids could use as their guiding principle. I wish that all those incredible, dedicated teachers —all those people who went into teaching out of love for children — were always able to put kids first. So often they can’t – for reasons beyond their control.

But at Pine Cobble we all can, and we all do.

And that’s what makes a place like this not just rare and lovely, not just sweet and fun, but also important. We are important, because we are proof that it can be done. That even in this cynical, ironic 21st century world, we can still have a place that values, above all else, the child.

Thank you to Michelle Despard for her dedication to the students and to this annual concert. To Susan Hadfield who helps us each year with the piano accompaniment. And, current parent, Meg Campbell for supporting Susan. To Matthew Germanowski, a graduate of Pine Cobble, who has come back today to film the concert. To all of the faculty and staff who support Michelle in this process of putting on the winter concert. To all of you in the audience for being here. And, most importantly, to all of the students who will put themselves out there today and sing their hearts out….with joy. Thank you.

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