Three Wishes for Ellis Students

As has long been the Ellis tradition, we celebrated all our seniors earlier this month at a brunch in their honor, attended by their families and the members of their sister class, the Class of 2026. This event serves to kick off this very special and important time in the lives of our seniors, as they prepare to transition from their time at Ellis to their next adventures in the world of higher education.
As Head of School, I have the great honor of sharing some words at the brunch each year.  I shared with the Class of 2024 that their graduation feels particularly special to me, since I will be leaving Ellis as they do. I asked them to indulge me in sharing some wishes I have for them as they leave us. I’d like to share them here as well, since they are truly wishes I have for all our Ellis students.

I have three such wishes.

First, I wish that each of our students will always continue to find joy in learning. Of course I hope they will always experience deep learning in their subjects at school. But I also hope they will continue to enjoy learning about themselves, about the world, about art and music and nature and people, and that they’ll take time to notice the ways in which they are growing as individuals.

Second, I wish that each of our students will make deep connections throughout their lives with people they love, and who love them - family, friends, partners. I let our seniors know that it can be scary to move to a new city and school, and later to other places and jobs. And it can take time to find “your people.” But—I told our seniors—they’ve all learned how to make and be good friends here at Ellis and all deserve to have loving relationships in their lives.

Third, and last, I wish for each of our students that they find their own ways of doing things that make them feel like they have had some kind of positive impact in the world.  I told the seniors to please notice that I was not wishing that they find their grand purpose or calling, or choose majors or jobs in which they solve enormous world problems. They may certainly do all those things if they want to. But here, I’m talking about finding the small ways in one’s everyday life in which one can make the world a bit better for others around you.

I closed with the seniors by adding that all of this may sound really theoretical and sappy, but one of the gifts that age has given me is a clarity about what really matters to me and what I believe makes for a happy life. And because I care about the seniors—and all students at Ellis—I wanted to share that clarity with them in the hopes that it might be helpful.

I particularly wanted to share these remarks with all our Ellis families here, as I continue to feel—after 7 years here—that we are all so lucky to be in a school community that fans that joy of learning, helps our students learn how to be good friends, and provides our girls with all the tools they need to go out and make their mark in the world. What a gift.