Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Two Reflections on The Davis Journey

At our end of year faculty meeting two Davis teachers, Andra Lefkovits and Suzanne Friedman, shared some reflections on the fact that their oldest children had just graduated from The Davis Academy. As you read these words take a moment to reflect on what they convey about the experience of being a student and a teacher at Davis. 

From Andra Lefkovits:

 I have been thinking that having children is as much about letting go as it is about holding on. In fact, for almost every milestone in our children’s lives we have to let go. For example, when they take their first steps, or when we finally let go of the back of their bike and, yes of course in a metaphorical way, when they graduate. 

The beautiful thing about letting go at the right moment is that we get to watch them soar. Watching them graduate is this incredible feeling of joy mixed with sadness because we know they are growing up and ultimately we have to let go.

 I am so thankful that Gaby traveled this path at Davis because at each and every one of those “letting go” moments she had an army of mentors, her teachers and other faculty, standing off to the side guiding her, encouraging her, and believing in her.

Gaby stands at the the end of the Davis journey knowing that she kept at it and didn’t give up, that she didn’t run back too afraid to venture forward, and that she took the long path instead of the short cut. She learned that the reward isn’t in the title you hold or the public recognition you receive. 

It is in the path you choose and the perseverance you show. It is in the resourcefulness you embody, and the kindness you exhibit. It is courageously moving forward with faith even though you are not sure what is around the next corner, and it is stopping to help a friend along the way. 

My daughter learned this is how you develop the integrity needed to live your best life. It is this kind of brave, fierce, compassionate integrity that the world needs so much more of and that is the gift that Davis gave my daughter.

From Suzanne Friedman:

As a parent of a child who just graduated eighth grade, I can’t believe the journey is over. Nine years ago, my husband and I made the decision to start our child’s journey at the Davis Academy. As first time parents and unsure of what our child would need, we decided that Davis seemed like a good fit for Halli. Little did we know how this place would shape our daughter’s life.

That first year was a rocky start. There were four different teachers over the course of one year. Who knew that Jordan Gerston would be Halli’s third kindergarten TA and then become her chaperone in Israel? Regardless of who was teaching that year, the one thing they all had in common was that they knew and loved my Halli. That common thread did not change over the course of the next eight years. The teachers at The Davis Academy loved my daughter for who she was and helped her become the person she is today. Opportunities like running for class mayor and presenting at the wax museum enabled her to build confidence at a young age. Reading torah and learning about Israel helped her love of Judaism grow. The projects, book reports, roots tests and so much more taught Halli to manage her time and work hard.  Halli was constantly pushed to think and question the world around her. Now that you have all done your job, I get the pleasure of continuing to raise my daughter; a confident, poised, and creative child who knows her place in this world. I cannot thank you enough for the time you spent educating my child in so many ways that go beyond the textbook. She will take bits and pieces of each of you as she heads out into the real world. Halli’s Davis journey will be a part of her life forever. Thank you for guiding her through it.   

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