Life at JTD
Student Voice

Alexander Kim '23

What the John Thomas Dye School Means to Me 

"Once a greyhound, always a greyhound.” I try to keep telling myself these words as I walk to the MAC Building for my first day of my last year at John Thomas Dye. With the cool and brisk August wind at my back and the rising sun in the distance, I can't help but remember the first time I came onto campus, many years ago. Funny, I think, how seven years can feel so short in the grand scheme of things. Walking onto the lawn, I am greeted by the many familiar sights I have known for so long. The Hall, the heart of our school, and, of course, the flag, which we see daily and say the Pledge and Salutation of the Dawn. "Once a greyhound, always a greyhound. Once a greyhound, always a greyhound.” My heart rate speeds up, and my footsteps suddenly feel very heavy as I walk down the stairs. Greeting old friends, seeing my new advisory room, it's all a flash. It feels as if I've been submerged in water, and I can't feel anything. Walking up to the front lawn, where we line up, I can't help but think that this is the first time of my last year I will say the Pledge of Allegiance. I gaze at everything, the Hall, the lawn, the flag, and suddenly, I want to never leave. I remind myself of the words I kept telling myself that morning, “Once a greyhound, always a greyhound." Putting my hand over my heart, and watching the flag be brought to the top of the pole, I open my mouth and say the words I have known for so long. "I, Pledge Allegiance, to the flag..." 
I really can't remember the first time I saw the phrase. All I can remember is when I first saw it, it really stuck with me and stayed with me throughout my seven years of being here. Wow, kindergarten me thought. It was like being part of a family, where once you're part of it, you'll always be a member. That's what I think of the John Thomas Dye School as, a family. There are the oldest members, the sixth graders, who all the younger grades look up to, and the kindergarteners, who everybody watches for. JTD is much more than a place to learn. No, no, it is also a community, a place where people can come together and feel like they are important and valued. Ever since I knew how special it was, I always kept saying that it was a family. And then, in fifth grade, when the family program was introduced, I thought that someone in the office had read my mind. Saying the Pledge of Allegiance for the first time, I couldn't help but notice how unified everyone was. Looking around, I saw how everyone knew exactly what to say, and at the same time too. I loved watching it, everybody brought together by a simple thing that we recite every morning. 

JTD's sense of cohesion and unity has always struck me as being special. Everyone works together like a family here, helping each other, supporting each other, and being able to work even in tough times. Every day here is unique and special, with every being different and never the same as the one before. From walking onto the lawn to say the Pledge and Salutation, to the end of the day where we sit on the lawn, waiting to get picked up, every single day is never the same, with all being special. Like we say in the Salutation every day, “For yesterday is but a dream, and tomorrow, a vision of hope." We all say these words every single day, just like a family, and we live by them together, just like how a family can have a motto that they live by. We are just like them, all just one big family here. 

Throughout my seven years here at JTD, every day has been special and important, living it together like a family. “Once a greyhound, always a greyhound,” is what has driven me to realize how important this school is to me. As this year is drawing to a close, I will always remember my times here, and how special they were and how much I cherish them. When I walk to the MAC Building, greet my friends, and walk back up to the lawn for the final time, I will always remember the first time I stood here, when I was just at the beginning of my time here. As I'll watch the flag rise on the pole for the final time, watch the rising sun, and feel the breeze on my back, I'll look back on my seven years, all the way from first arriving on campus in kindergarten, to the first time I said the Pledge of Allegiance as a sixth grader. As I put my hand over my heart, I'll think about how many times I've stood here, reciting the Pledge andSalutation with the school, together, and I'll smile. 

Thank you JTD. I am part of this family forever. 

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.