With so many reasons to be thankful, it is important to stop and show our gratitude. Each year, we give thanks by treating the boarders to a traditional turkey dinner. Students gave thanks by writing what they were thankful for on paper leaves and attaching them to ribbon to create quite a stunning display of gratitude in one small space. The ribbons were then put up in the boarding houses as a reminder of how lucky we all are. Directors and department heads from across all three campuses assisted the boarding staff in serving the students at this year’s celebration, and we are grateful that we had the opportunity to get together before going our separate ways for the long weekend.
We also asked Carolyn Fuller, whose son is a member of Bolton House, to write us about her family’s SMUS experience and what she is grateful for. Her words are so appropriate for Thanksgiving that we thought we’d share them with you.
Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at St. Michaels University School.
Thanksgiving Reflections from A Boarder’s Mom
by Carolyn Fuller
With a heavy and anxious heart, I sent a 15-year-old boy 1000 miles away and to a new country. This year, his Grade 12 year, I accompanied a poised and confident 17-year-old young man back to his school. That is what St. Michaels University School has become: his school, the place he has grown in, has matured at and the place he is proud to be a part of.
Stefan is from a small community in central California. It’s a nice town and a good place to live and raise a family. But Stefan has always been the kid with the questions, the child who wanted to know what lay beyond the borders. Local schools could not provide what Stefan needed to thrive.
So my square peg is fortunate enough to be a student at SMUS, and he has truly blossomed under the school’s watchful eye. I have been impressed and pleased with the balance between safety and discipline and the need for these young people to have worldly experiences.
It was a wonderful experience for me this year to have been on both ends of the new boarders’ process. Two years ago, we were guided along so competently and compassionately and yet firmly that though we had to leave Stefan, I never had a moment of doubt or concern. This year, Stefan played a role in that same orientation process, showing the same kindness, sensitivity and knowledge that he was shown. I was very proud.
Many people have been surprised and some even dismayed that we would “send our young son away.” But in your parents’ heart, when you know that it is the right place, for the best of reasons and for the greatest opportunities, you feel proud and honored. And very, very fortunate.