I typically address my letters to you as “Ellis Families” but today I’m writing you as the Ellis Family for a reason. The last months have required a lot of all of us as individuals, and I’ve been so impressed by the stories many have shared with me about how they have weathered this unprecedented time. Most of those stories have involved reliance on families—small or large, nuclear or extended, related by blood or bonded by friendships. When we function well as families, we stick together during challenging times, we stay committed to each other even when we see things differently, we watch out for each other, we think as much or more about the needs of others in our family as we do about our own. And we laugh and play together, celebrate our successes together, and learn and grow together.
This year promises to be an unpredictable one that could continue to present challenges for many of us. For all of us, school will be different and may change during the year in ways we won’t always get to control. The muscles around flexibility, creativity, and good humor that we all strengthened these past months will serve us in good stead. I have every confidence that we will rise to the occasion, and more, because we—the Ellis Family—have all the qualities of strong families.
When prospective students and parents visit Ellis, one of the first things they remark upon is the warmth and caring of this community. As seniors leave us and speak about what they will miss most about their Ellis experience, they inevitably reflect on the care they felt from their teachers and the closeness they developed with their classmates. Our goal at Ellis has always been, and remains this year, to grow girls and young women who care about the needs of others and strive to make a difference around those needs, who connect in authentic ways with all sorts of people, who speak up for others, who love to learn in community.
Whether this is your 10th year at Ellis or your first, my hope for you is that you feel that caring and warmth this year, as in all years, and that we all bring our commitment to each other to school every day as we learn, play, and grow together.