Life at JTD
Student Voice

Pierce Moore '22

Small Steps, But Giant Leaps
The warm breeze of late August whistled past like a friendly wave to us as we drove. I knew where we were going. Up the steep hill we went, up, up, up, until I finally saw the sign. The John Thomas Dye School, it said. As we got out of the car, the butterflies in my stomach were urging me back. However, my family was urging me forward. And forward I went, taking baby steps. Clump, clump, clump, the quiet sound my shoes made as I was walking along the red bricks outside of the school. Though there was something different about walking along this path. Every step I took, I started to feel more warmth in my body. “Forward, Forward, Forward,” my mind started to say, louder and louder until I realized I wasn’t just taking baby steps, I was walking fast, and wanted to run, wanted to leap. The birds chirping in the trees didn’t sound like they usually did. Their voices and soft, gentle tweeting created a voice, louder and louder, in my head. “Onward, Onward, Onward!” until we finally reached the front gate. The door was cracked open and we pushed through. As the famous Neil Armstrong once said, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” This was my small step, but my giant leap. I was about to step into my new school, after months and months of waiting. I jumped into my giant leap, and stepped inside.
The giant leap I took created a burst of warmth inside of me. The butterflies that were buzzing around in my stomach immediately flew away and retreated. Even though I hadn’t met them yet, the voices of Auntie Cathryn, Uncle John, and John Thomas Dye III were in my head, beautiful, beautiful voices of love, peace, and passion. The voices sang in my head, “Good morning earth, good morning sky, good morning John Thomas Dye”.
John Thomas Dye was the leap I had been waiting for all my life. I had been waiting to discover my place in the world, and when I took the leap, I knew right away that JTD was not only an amazing school, but my place, my home, and the setting where I really can live, and laugh, and love.
Throughout my time at JTD, from my giant leap and starting in First Grade to where I am now, about to graduate, my mind tells me just how fast time flies. And time doesn’t fly just when you’re having fun. Time flies when you’re home. This hall, this garden, this field, these classrooms, these birds chirping in the trees, that magical sound of the crackling fireplace at Carols, this lawn, and this campus are all my home. And I am reminded of this every single day. Seeing the lyrics of “Good Morning John Thomas Dye” in the hall, mentioning that JTD is a place of peace, love, and home. Staring at the fireplace, at JTD’s history in the hall. Seeing Auntie Cathryn, Uncle John, and John Thomas Dye III. From the moment I met them, I knew that they were my heroes, and our heroes. Still, when I look across the hall at their pictures on the wall, I hear their beautiful voices in my head. “Good morning earth, good morning sky, good morning John Thomas Dye.”
“And if I fall, or if I stumble, I know I’ve got a hand to help me carry on”. These words I couldn’t understand at first. As I took another step but leap into my First Grade classroom, the butterflies in my stomach started to return. Being the only new student in my class was hard for me. Everyone else in the class was welcoming each other back, reminiscing about their kindergarten year. I didn’t know how I would fit in.

However, I started to listen to their conversations, and soon, they invited me over to talk with them. Ever since then, these people have always been at my side, and there for me when I needed them. If I ever fell, or if I ever stumbled, my friends would be the hand, the hand that helps me up every single day, and helps me carry on and continue my journey.

My time has flown, my giant leaps have gotten bigger, and I have become a better person throughout all my time at JTD. First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, and now Sixth Grade, my journey at JTD is coming to a close. The beautiful voices of Auntie Cathryn, Uncle John, and John Thomas Dye III will forever be with me, guiding me along, helping me take giant leaps and persevere no matter the hard, hopeless, or depressing situation. Now that I have been at JTD for almost six years, I understand that magic is very much real. The time that I’ve had, the people I’ve met, and the legends I’ve been told here are all magical to me. The giant leaps I’ve taken since I first started in First Grade are also extraordinary, and will continue to be in my heart, inspiring and challenging me to step but leap and face my fears. The importance of taking a small step, but taking a giant leap isn’t the small, baby step. It is the leap itself, and how The John Thomas Dye School taught me to push myself into it.

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.