How can I possibly describe the three words John Thomas Dye in a single term? JTD encompasses so many wonderful experiences and lessons that I can scarcely describe its many meanings. It is impossible for me to describe the hundreds of indelible influences it has left on my soul. Yet all of these influences and meanings boil down to one significant thing: a sense of family.
Every day when I drive to school, I look forward to the events that will come in the next seven hours. As fun as these daily events are, the true essence of John Thomas Dye, for me, is the feeling that I am part of something special, something bigger: a community of teachers and students that I feel as if I have known since the beginning of time. I am always welcomed over and over, first by Bobby as I arrive in carpool line, and next as I walk through the heavy, wooden doors of my advisory. Not just any welcome is given, however. It is what I like to call the JTD welcome. I am asked how I feel. I am caught up on recent sports scores. I am invited to play a card game with my friends. Or, if I like, I am allowed the opportunity to experiment with circuits in the Bartel advisory. I honestly feel related to my classmates. They are my sunshine when we are socked in by morning fog (Mr. Michaud’s beautiful marine layer that I have come to love, and even when the barometer registers a threatening 28.80. They are the addends that give me my sum of a successful day.
My family is an essential part of my life. They keep me going when I can’t keep my head up. John Thomas Dye’s close, tight-knit community represents my family away from home. They extend the good morning that my brothers greet me with. They keep the candle of closeness always kindled bright. For that reason alone, whenever I think of JTD, I immediately associate the school with family.
Sometimes, it is required that a growing family adds an annex to their home so that they have room to extend their branches. This year, we had a show-stopping new annex to move into. Its pale white face bears the name, The Raymond R. Michaud Academic Center. In it lie spotless new classrooms equipped with new academic tools such as Smart Boards and Elmo overhead projectors. Yet, with our newly discovered gadgets, we have not forgotten our roots. These are embodied in the hand-made watercolor tiles that our students have painted for the restrooms. These illustrate our past and the core values, ideals and ideas that came with our old section of the home. We are still that same academic community that we were while we studied in our previous classrooms.
As I turn the page to the next chapter in my life, I feel excited but also a little bit sad to be leaving this warm nest. But, as a result of this environment that nourishes children for the coming stages in their lives, I feel prepared to make the transformation from the little duckling that could hardly waddle to the duck that could soar. I am ready to fly south, to chase the unknown, to face the future. The strong moral compass that has been meshed into the infrastructure of my life has readied me for the obstacles that lie ahead.
So thank you JTD. Your unwavering support of my will to live life to its fullest has greatly enriched my years here. Your embracing community has greatly elevated the quality of my time on this earth. The love, kindness, and academic prowess that I have experienced at this school have made me, truly ready for tomorrow. As George Keiffer once wrote, “This garden where I learned to fly’” is indeed a magical place. This school taught me how to tie my shoes, do addition, write a sentence, and hundreds of other fundamental things. Most of all, it has taught me to live a life of which I can be proud. Adios JTD-yo te voy a extranar-I will miss you.