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Pursuing New Paths

Last week, we celebrated the culmination of our students’ Lower School, Middle School, and Upper School journeys. As our community honored these Sanford Warriors, we also recognized that each of them will begin following new paths. While some will remain Sanford students in new divisions, others will move on to other schools or launch college or career experiences. Regardless of where they’re going or what they’re doing, all will blaze new trails.
This year's Commencement was a whole new experience for me. After more than a decade of presiding over this time-honored tradition as Sanford’s Head of School, I stood on the stage for the first time as a Sanford parent of a graduating senior. My daughter Stella, who has attended Sanford since second grade, walked across the stage of the Class of 1955 Amphitheater and received her diploma.
Throughout the years, I have talked with many parents of Sanford graduates. Our conversations focused on their families’ experiences, their gratitude for our faculty and staff’s efforts, and the range of emotions they felt as their children were about to leave Sanford and begin new adventures. Every year, Commencement is bittersweet for many. While we know our graduates are ready to fly, we will miss them—and they, too, will miss their alma mater.
As I prepared for Commencement 2022, the shared memories of alumni parents, chats with this year’s senior parents, and my own thoughts and feelings filled my head and heart. Although I knew that this ceremony would be a different graduation experience for me, I hadn’t seen myself pursuing a new path. Yet, that’s exactly what happened. In fact, my journey as the parent of a Sanford senior took me down numerous paths since the beginning of the school year. Paths that generated happiness, sadness, challenges, and successes.
Fortunately, I didn’t have to navigate my new paths alone. Just as our students are surrounded by a supportive community, I found myself embraced by our phenomenal family of faculty, staff members, coaches, and families. To that end, when I walked from Quigley Hall to the Commencement stage, I was ready. Ready to lead as Sanford’s Head of School. Ready to celebrate as Stella’s proud father.

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