Life at JTD
Student Voice

Neidin Hernandez '08

I can still remember the first day the bold yellow school bus pulled up to the pick up stop. My lips were raw from constant biting and the palms of my hands were drenched in perspiration. I can vaguely remember my mother wishing me good luck as I numbly made my way to the school. I sat down on the cold gray seats, tilted my head back and closed my eyes in a desperate attempt to calm my nerves. “Why was I so nervous?” I asked myself. After all, it was only a school.
I laugh now as I think of my foolishly presumed conclusion. The amount of impact the John Thomas Dye School has had is nearly unfathomable.It’s as if I’ve been looking through a broken and foggy spyglass, trying to make out the long, winding route of life and the intricate pattern of my own thoughts and needs. All of a sudden things that once appeared muted and dim have now come into perfect focus. Things like who I am now, who I am supposed to be, and what I was meant to do in this world, were some amazing feats of discovery I have made at JTD.This change was not abrupt or immediate, but rather a gradual dawning of comprehension that would have been unachievable if not for the vast amount of effort presented by everyone at JTD.

From the first day of school I sensed a difference in the teachers here. They were unlike any other teachers I have ever met. Over the next few weeks, I was finally able to place my finger on it. I recalled some of the teachers at my previous schools. They sat behind their desks, sipping their extra caffeinated coffee, counting the passing seconds until the weekend. The teachers at John Thomas Dye are far from mediocre. They teach with an enduring passion to enhance the standard lessons and transform them into opportunities for us to fall in love with knowledge. They always have a helping hand at the ready and a genuine love and concern that extends far beyond the classroom walls.Everybody at JTD has such a beautiful heart, all the teachers, staff, and of course, my remarkable classmates.

One of the great inconveniences of attending four different elementary schools is the unfortunate inability to maintain a stable group of friends. Previous to JTD, friends seemed like an unnecessary luxury, but now I can’t begin to imagine what my life would be like without my vital companions. It is quite amazing that here at the John Thomas Dye School, forty-six eleven and twelve year olds are able to set all their insignificant differences aside and come together as one. My friends are rare gems that will never lose their charm, shine, or ability to put a smile on my face whenever I am down. In twenty years I will look back at my years at John Dye and the friends I have made here, and be reminded that even though I haven’t spoken or seen some of them in many years, I will always have forty-six strings connected to my heart, leading all the way back to them and wherever the course of life has taken them.

I grin so wide and proud whenever one of my friends mentions the Pilgrim ship or Catalina, as the delicious memories come flooding back into my mind. One of my favorites and most important was the Holiday Carols. I had unpacifiable qualms and doubts as we prepared to sing to every JTD family. I was bound to forget the lyrics, sing highly off key, or both! But as the music finally began, and everyone took a deep breath, all those fears washed right off me. I cannot even remember seeing the audience, but remember it as a time when one hundred voices mixed, mingled, and finally united into one voice ringing out loud and clear. I’ve never smiled more in my life that I did that night. There have been many occasions when our hearts swell up inside our chests and we are reminded of our enduring love for this school. When we sit huddled together in John Dye Hall, staring into the flickering flame of the candle, when our cocky first grade buddy stumps us with unmatchable and astounding wit, or even when we are eating our lunch on the soft green grass, laughing uncontrollably, we are reminded that we are home.

Now as we find ourselves in the last days of school, we find ourselves desperately clinging onto this school. We tell ourselves that if we try a little harder, and hold on a little tighter, we can make time stopj ust long enough for us to properly say good bye, yet we know this is an inevitable part of life. In this bittersweet moment, we reminisce about our teachers, dear friends, and precious memories. We are not emotionally prepared to leave John Thomas Dye, our second home, our second family, but we know this school has prepared us to go out and make a difference in this world. This school has become part of us, and we have become part of it, and we will remain like this forever, as one.

The John Thomas Dye School

11414 Chalon Road
Los Angeles, CA 90049
Phone: (310) 476-2811
The John Thomas Dye School admits students of any race, color, religion, sexual orientation, or national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the School. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sexual orientation, or national and ethnic origin in the administration of its educational policies, admission policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic or other school-administered programs.

Located In Los Angeles, CA, John Thomas Dye is an independent school for grades K-6. Students benefit from a challenging academic program, fine arts, competitive athletics, and a wide selection of extracurricular activities.