On January 11 we restarted an Allen-Stevenson tradition: Friday Morning Meetings led by 9th graders Austin Baxter '19, Duke Garschina '19, and Alexander von Maltzahn '19, our Masters of Ceremonies. Friday Morning Meetings are a time for Middle and Upper School boys to come together in the Assembly Hall and engage as a community. The theme of this meeting: Intention.
“Life isn’t just about you, it’s about helping other people,” said Duke Garschina ’19. “Whenever you start something, make sure you finish. Even in failure, you learn valuable lessons.”
Next, we were privy to two musical performances: a flute solo by Instrumental Instructor Rie Schmidt accompanied by Aleeza Meir on the piano, and a call and response, led by Music Head Michelle Demko, that focused on putting positive intention--centered on love, joy, and peace--into the air.
But, arguably, the highlight of the kick-off Assembly was Headmaster David Trower’s powerful speech, which began by explaining to the boys the history of the School’s physical spaces and flowed into the Assembly Hall reopening and the power of a new year.
“A new year always forces us to think about the past and the future. It takes a certain type of resilience, and an inner core of empathy towards others, to navigate all these pieces.”
He also discussed the steps taken over the past 18 months to create our new Assembly Hall and how they were similar to the Allen-Stevenson intention of building boys who make the world a better place.
“To build a boy takes time. Much like building an Assembly Hall, you need a strong foundation to support and hold the weight of what’s above it. What’s important isn’t how long it takes, but the amount of support and trust we have in each other.”
Before closing, Headmaster Trower encouraged our boys to move through the year strongly and rightly, and gave them sage wisdom. “When I think of life as an adventure, I find that you discover several things: you have to stay alert, you have to be resilient, and you have to be open to surprises. Change is unavoidable, and you are part of that change. Making the world a better place is part of what we are here to do, and I know we can do this.”
Finally, our Masters of Ceremonies led us in singing the School Song, before boys returned to class. It was a powerful forty minutes and a prime example of the importance of community time at Allen-Stevenson.