“Tonight, we begin a journey together.”

These were my opening words to you at our Welcome Back event in September. Little did I know where that journey would take us! That night, I went on to further state,  “Because we know that human beings are wired to seek connection and develop in a social context, we put relationships at the forefront of all of our work.” Again, who knew at the time that our collective human need for social connections would be so thoroughly revealed  and how Greenhouse’s commitment to relationships would be leveraged in completely new and different ways throughout the school year. While the school year was filled with joy, learning and friendship, in the last few weeks and months we’ve also been fighting the fears, loss and uncertainty of a global pandemic, feeling the isolation and destabilization of social distancing and confronting the ravages of systemic racism. Through it all, Greenhouse has striven to center our connections, relationships and community. 

Whether we were creating restaurants in the dramatic play area or having a stuffed animal picnic in our home,

whether we were laughing together in the big yard or on Zoom,

whether we were painting the “Colors of Us” or helping children use their voices to stand-up for fairness,

whether we were celebrating the 100 years of Greenhouse, going on a lantern parade, or singing together at the school-wide sing,

in all of these moments it is our human connection and our care of one another that has made our Greenhouse community stronger. 

Whether we studied color, trees, or vehicles, we found ways to connect and collaborate through our shared intellectual pursuits. 

Whether we gathered at curriculum night, the school-wide picnic or parent groups on Zoom, we found ways to connect and support each other in our roles as parents.

It will always be here — in these moments of connection — that Greenhouse feels the strongest.

It continues to be my deep pleasure and privilege to be the educational leader of this community. While there is much for us to learn from this year and there is still work to do, I am grateful for the opportunity to be a part of your family’s lives and share in your children’s growth. 

The end of this year seems both sudden and prolonged! For those families moving on to new schools, even new cities, never doubt that Greenhouse will always be your community.  A special thing happens at nursery school, sharing the experience of watching your children grow draws us together and we become a permanent part of each other. We will always carry this shared experience; we will always be a part of each other — no matter where we go next.

For those families that are returning in the fall, I wish I had more facts and answers as to what it will look like. As soon as we are given more information, we will be in touch with definitive plans. In the meantime, I want to send a very special thank you to the faculty and staff for their dedication and tireless efforts throughout the year.

It was a year that has tested their flexibility, skills and fortitude; and once again, they have proven to be simply remarkable. I know you all join me in thanking them for their undying commitment, dedication and love.  We’d like to say a special good-bye to Nina Basescu. After 19 years at Greenhouse, she has decided to move on to new opportunities. We thank her for her years of love and warmth to Greenhouse children and families and wish her the best! A special thank you to Lauren Weigel, Ebone Brown Emdin and Liza King, the Co-Chairs of the Parent Association. Your support has been really valued this year. Also, thank you to all the class reps, committee chair people and volunteers— that worked together this year.

With that, I say good-bye–for now. I look forward to seeing you again soon — wherever our journey takes us next.