After school finished, I was able to spend two weeks with my parents in Southern Maine. We were blessed with tremendous weather and my kids were able to run on the beach, eat native corn at the family barbecue and ride their bikes for hours. Having some down time allowed me the opportunity to reflect on everything the faculty and students accomplished this year at West. Although they were faced with considerable obstacles, they came together in ways that were unimaginable at the start of school. Students were provided a rigorous academic curriculum, but time was also allocated for a raucous Spirit Week. Students spent hours working on their Internal Assessments, but they also joined sports teams in record numbers. The last few months of school were spent in MCAS exams, but the STAGE production performed to standing-room only crowds and welcomed students to the theatre who had never attempted acting. Most importantly, students and faculty never let the less-than-ideal structure of the facility stand in the way of teaching and learning.
The friendships that developed last year were often built by overcoming adversity. Next week, Sturgis West will open its doors at 105 West Main. Before we leave the past behind, it is important to consider the experiences of the first students at Sturgis West. During the last few days of school, we asked the students to reflect on the year and to think about what a new facility would mean for their Sturgis experience. Reading their words, it is hard not to be emotional about leaving Main Street. Although they are excited about the future, there is evidence that the old Artifacts furniture store brought them together and was an integral part in creating a Sturgis West identity. As you read the comments from the students, recognize that it was a very special year. I hope you look back fondly on your experience on Main Street but realize that the next chapter of the story of Sturgis West is about to begin. I can’t wait to write it together!
To read the full text of student comments, see “Sturgis West Pulls Up Stakes and Moves On” in Sturgis Soundings Magazine http://sturgissoundings.net/.