Evidence of Success – October 7, 2009

The Beechwood community is united in our purpose. It is our fervent desire that the children who attend this school will grow into successful adults. We want our kids to be respectful, hard-working, kind, brave and resilient. Teachers and parents are working hard to insure that this will happen but sometimes we wonder: are we on the right track?

Today, I would like to offer two stories that should show you that Beechwood School is being successful in our endeavor to produce quality individuals.

Exhibit A: The 7th Grade Outdoor Ed trip. Last week I went on the 7th grade outdoor education trip with Mrs. Plow and Mr. Mennuti. This is no ordinary trip. The students are required to take a boat from Sausalito, across the San Francisco Bay to Angel Island. There is no motor, just the paddle they are given. I was extremely impressed with the way this group took on this challenge. None of them had ever done any kayaking before but they were willing to try it and believed that they could do it. They worked together as a team to accomplish the goal and before long they were pulling their boats onto a beach on the other side of the bay. Was it easy? No, but neither is life and being willing to do something that is difficult is great practice for all the hurdles that lie ahead.

Exhibit B: A visit from Dr. Mario Capecchi. Dr. Capecchi is a Nobel Prize winning scientist from the University of Utah. He was kind enough to come all the way to Beechwood just to speak with our 5th-8th graders. During his presentation on Thursday, he spoke briefly and then asked the students if they had any questions. This is where our kids really began to shine. It was so impressive the way each of them walked calmly to the microphone and delivered their thoughtful questions in a clear voice. As Dr. Capecchi answered, the students maintained eye contact with him throughout and nodded their heads to show him that they were listening to his response. The entire audience was outstanding, all 72 students remaining focused and quiet throughout the hour-long session. When it was all over, this famous and respected man shook my hand and simply said, “You have a great school”.

We do have a great school, and it is because our children are taught the values we hold dear in their homes and at the school. From the day they begin with Mrs. Holl or Mrs, Curtis, the children learn the “Beechwood Way” and this continues through their 8th grade year. The evidence that I offer today is but a sampling of what you can see on any given day here at Beechwood School. While it is true that there is much work to be done, I hope that all of us can take a moment and feel good about all that we have achieved thus far. Beechwood School: A True Success Story.

-Mr. Laurance