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Lower School Closes Year with Tree Talk on Resilience

The Lower School leadership team got the whole division back together via Zoom for their final Tree Talk on Friday, May 22. Bernardo Guzmán, Assistant Head of Lower School, opened up the year’s last gathering with a bit of humor: “Ravens? What are you doing in my kitchen? And how did you get here? Never mind that. Since you’re here, since I’m here, let’s do the final Tree Talk of the year.” He then launched into the familiar “Every Raven, Every Day” chant! 

Lower School Ravens then watched as members of the division’s leadership team sent warm wishes and thoughts about the summer. 

Head of Lower School Nicole Girvan encouraged students to celebrate all of their accomplishments from the school year and introduced the topic of this tree talk: resilience. 

“You’ve been living [Lead From Here competencies] every day during this transition to virtual school,” Guzmán added. “You had to be growth-minded. You had to hold yourself accountable. You had to find ways to be motivated without your teachers in the same room as you. And most importantly, you had to be resilient.” 

Lower School counselor Mary Ripple did a deep dive into the definition of the word. “Virtual school was not something we predicted. Raise your hand if you thought it was challenging at some times. I think I need to raise two hands. Even though we have those tough times, we know it is important to be resilient and bounce back and overcome those challenges and start every day fresh. We remember that each day is a new day and we can overcome those challenges. Sometimes it takes a little help. A lot of you are out there doing acts of kindness. It makes us feel better when we’re helping others.” 

Emily Ortolano, Lower School librarian, then introduced a slideshow of students in their virtual learning environment, truly demonstrating the resilience of our Ravens, followed by a message of positivity from Jennifer Weider, Lower School Physical Education Teacher. 

Guzmán returned to shift into the memories from the first part of the school year, on campus, set to the tune of “Look for the Good in Everything” by Jason Mraz. 

Lower School curriculum specialist Ruth Thomas closed out the Tree Talk by introducing the very special tradition of the fifth-graders exiting the Lower School gym to "Go Now in Peace.” This tradition looked a little different this year, with the song (sung by fine arts teachers Katie O’Neill and Mary Royall Hight) set to a slideshow of our PreK students holding up drawings and signs of love and encouragement for our fifth-graders. 

And is it really an end-of-year Tree Talk without some dancing? The Lower School leadership team grooved to “Walking on Sunshine” as they signed off until 2020-21.