First Day Assembly – Head of School Welcome
August 30, 2023
Good morning. I am Ms. Brennan, the Head of School, and I am excited to welcome each of you to the 2023-2024 school year!
Coming together in assembly on the first day is a TA tradition. TA is more than a school – it’s a community. Not all schools can say that. Schools that can proudly proclaim that fact are better schools. They are more connected. They are more supportive and effective. They are more welcoming and inclusive. Schools that are communities allow each of us to flourish, to take risks, to engage in our learning, and to embrace challenge. Bottom line: Schools that are communities are more enjoyable places to learn and teach and spend our valuable time each day.
Communities don’t just happen. The people in them have to commit to being a part of a community. We each have a role to play. There are many places and ways that we celebrate and grow our community at TA. We do so in classes, in advisory, in clubs, on teams, in the hallway, the library, and at lunch. Assembly is one of the many traditions and routines that we’ve created to convene, connect, and celebrate as a whole school. So, welcome not only to the first day of school – but to the first assembly of the year!
In addition to the concept of COMMUNITY, I have two more themes I want to highlight in my opening this morning: What’s NEW? What gives us PRIDE?
What’s new for you this year?
– The 9th grade is new to high school. [Panther applause for the Class of 2027!]
– The 7th grade is new to TA. [Panther applause for the Class of 2029!]
– Let’s welcome all of the new students in the crowd, across all of the grades. [More applause!]
Some of you are trying a new sport. Some are ready to try a new club. Others are taking on new academic challenges. There are 11th and 12th graders embarking on the new experience of participating in a tech program. Students getting ready to try new art forms, take up a new instrument, try out for the fall play. Maybe you moved recently and are getting used to a new home. Maybe you had a job this summer and have new skills you’re bringing into the school year. These are just a few of an infinite number of examples. We all have something new on our minds. What’s new for you this year?
The next theme is PRIDE. Assembly is a place to celebrate Panther Pride – and the panther is here to be a part of the fun! [Applause for the Panther!] At TA, in our community, school pride can mean so many things. We celebrate school pride with academics, with clubs, with sports, with personal accomplishments in and out of school. School pride is about putting the spotlight on each of you. What is one thing that you are proud of – something that you bring into this school year, that you’ve achieved, that makes you who you are? And, what is something you want to strive for this year that will give you pride?
Creating community. Embracing what’s new. Sharing our pride. We’ll keep coming back to these themes – in assembly and all around school. Let’s make it a great year, together!