Dr. Monaghan: Seniors, ‘you are a special group of individuals’


Dear Seniors –

I was so honored when Ms. Fritts asked me if I might be interested in writing a letter to seniors in the last edition of The Glen Bard for this year.  After all, this edition is the one that tries to capture the colleges, universities and other experiences that our seniors are heading off to next year.  So I thought I might just share a few thoughts as you prepare for this transition. 

By now, I am certain that our seniors have had many discussions with parents, friends and family about how this pandemic has changed not only this school year but so many other parts of the way we live.  The seniors I have spoken to (mostly through Google Hangout) have shared with me that their biggest challenge has to do with not being able to have closure.  They are sad about not being able to thank their teachers and staff in person and not being able to go through the typical rituals of senior year at Glenbard West.  Furthermore, they will miss not being able to share their accomplishments with each other.  Interesting is how this year’s seniors are not complaining about what they want as individuals, but rather what they need as a community.  

It doesn’t surprise me that the class of 2020 shares a deep value for connection and a need to share experiences with each other.  You are a special group of individuals and I know that I am not alone in recognizing your talents, interests, abilities and values to be unique and special.  Our teachers have shared with me their deep disappointment in how the year ended and they also mourn the loss of closure and connection with you as well.  

Of course, this world-wide pandemic feels completely different from other recent tragedies and for sure represents something frightening for all of us.  However, I would suggest to all of you that America is resilient and its people are adaptive.  Eventually, this will pass and we will come out stronger on the other side.  In the meantime, I would strongly recommend that you take inventory of your blessings and the people who love you and as you do so incorporate a sense of gratitude into your lives.  This experience has taught us that when things are going well, we are rarely aware of our good fortune.  For that reason, it is essential that we regularly pause to appreciate the important things in our lives.

My hope is that we see each other on July 28th and that all of you are heading off to incredible experiences and opportunities in the fall.  The years right after high school must be the most exciting in a person’s life.  I encourage all of you to apply the many lessons that have come from Glenbard West inside and outside of the classroom to your individual experiences.  Realize that building a community of unique and varied people who share ideals and values is at the heart of any worthwhile endeavor.  After all, that is what all of us have tried to make Glenbard West.  Obviously, you have been a huge part of that effort.  All the very best to every single one of you.  

Pete Monaghan