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Opening of School Letter to Parents 2017

posted Sep 4, 2017, 5:24 PM by Michael Grant   [ updated Sep 4, 2017, 5:33 PM ]
Dear Sargent Families,
I am writing to you on this sunny Labor Day from my desk at Sargent. I came in early this morning to leave a few things on our new teachers’ desks to wish them well on their first day.  I assured them in my note that they are being welcomed into a warm family of learners where positive, meaningful connections will be made with their students, our engaged parents, and with their colleagues.
Although the lights are off in our school this morning, there is a feeling of brightness for me as I walk these dark, quiet halls. The brightness comes from my gratefulness in being given this inspiring opportunity to lead this school with the trust and support from you and our amazing educators. When I interviewed in June and met with the Sargent staff and many of you parents, I shared that the foundation of my work as principal would be in recognizing two important cornerstones. Those cornerstones are:

1.     “Everything I do must be student-focused.”
2.     “I cannot do this job alone.”
I am resolved to keep the needs of all students at the core of what we do. Whatever the demands and complexities of our work may be, it is my job to keep it “about the kids, and what is best for them to remain fun-loving, curious, confident learners.” In order for me to be successful in leading this effort, I need your help. I cannot be successful without your valued insight and that of my caring staff. I know with 100% confidence, if we partner together, with the needs of our kids as our focus, then our students will soar!  I invite you to be an active participant at Sargent School!
Our school is fueled on positive energy! Our staff is energized and alive with the anticipation of a wondrously, fun, engaging year of learning! Every member of our school team of educators will have laser focus in seeing that your child will feel safe, accepted, and will be a valued friend. We recognize that we must respect and appreciate our similarities and differences in order to grow and flourish as a community.
Communicate, communicate, and communicate! It is the key to our success as a community.  We will have a long and rewarding relationship with you if we all work hard to share our thoughts and affirm each other through multiple forms of communication. Email, notes, backpack correspondence, whatever works best. My mantra has often been “when in doubt ~ CALL!”  No questions or concerns are too small if it impacts the success of our students feeling seen, heard and valued as engaged, joyful learners.
Our teachers have added a bright shine to their classrooms through their thoughtful hard work. From our most seasoned teacher to the new staff beginning tomorrow, all share the common thread of creating a welcoming, vibrant classroom. Students’ names are brightly attached to desks and other places in the room to make students feel they are important and they belong. We have a new and colorfully painted lobby to showcase. This work was done with our newly hired Art teacher, Ms. Hannah Brady and student and parent volunteers this summer.  As I drove away today, I was so proud to see the hard work of the wonderful volunteers who have made the outside of our school look well cared for and welcoming. Thank you for your time and talents. Our top-notch custodial staff worked hard all summer to ensure that classrooms were cleaned to look new and that each teacher request was met in adding to, or rearranging their classrooms for a fun learning environment. And, most importantly, the hard work of the custodial team was done with a positive pride in making Sargent School the best it can be. We are all grateful to Joe, Pat and Sam for their tireless efforts.
As you can see, I cannot do this job alone. School has not even started and I am humbled and grateful for the many who partner in supporting our school community with the their signature strengths.  In the words of Helen Keller, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”
Here’s to a remarkable year of working together for each and every child who are the faces of our wonderful Sargent Community!
Gratefully yours,
Karen Murdoch-Lahey, M.Ed, CAGS
Annie L. Sargent Elementary School
300 Abbott Street,
North Andover, MA 01845
Phone: (978) 725-3673
Fax: (978) 725-3678