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Brendan Largay, Head of School

Don’t Forget to Breathe

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you enjoyed the winter break. As I have checked in with various folks—teachers, parents, and students—the feedback has been uniformly positive, and a renewed joyfulness is evident. An important reminder of the value of taking pause, celebrating reconnection, and thoughtfully reflecting on another year gone by.

Reflection is a critical element of restoration, perhaps because it provides us with the bandwidth to achieve closure with thoughts or ideas that we weren’t quite done with, or because it allows the silt to sift through leaving only the golden nuggets visible. Whatever the reason, it is invaluable to me. Maybe this year more than most.

2018 has been a pretty busy run for Belmont Day, and it feels fitting that the year would end with the opening of the Barn as a signature moment of celebration, growth, and the conclusion of a significant chapter of work. As I reflected on the year, I found myself coming back to that again and again. All of the hard work. All of the community energy. The excitement. And ultimately, the opportunity it creates for us and our future.

January, named for the Roman god Janus, and the arrival of the new year invites us to look in two directions at once: back and forward. In that spirit, my look ahead is marked by three resolutions for our school and me. They are reminiscent of the lessons countless coaches tried to teach me growing up, and they continue to resonate for me as I look to 2019:

  • Don’t forget to breathe. One look back at 2018 at BDS, and it’s hard not to feel the need for a good, deep breath. We’ve been busy. We need to take a moment, be present, and realize just how far we have come. In doing so, we will be better prepared to recognize the next set of opportunities for BDS. Breathing, finding balance, and restoring ourselves is critical to discover and seize the opportunities that 2019 is sure to present.
  • Keep your head up. Embrace the optimism inherent in a community of learners to be ready to receive the opportunities that lie ahead. The future at Belmont Day has never been brighter. There’s plenty to be optimistic about around here: great faculty, excellent facilities, engaged students, and dedicated families.
  • Simplify, simplify, simplify. Henry David Thoreau got it right. The siren calls of 2019—countless inputs that draw our attention in multiple directions at once, and a culture that promotes continually seeking the next best thing can get the very best of us. We become exhausted in a great tail-chasing exercise. In 2019, we should focus on that which we know best—excellence in teaching, caring about our community, treating one another with respect, and always finding joy—and the discoveries start to take care of themselves.

Happy New Year everyone. Welcome back.


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