Sunday, June 8, 2014

A Great School Lives In Its Students Forever

This week has been a big environmental week--both near and far, and far and wide within my heart:
  • Thursday, June 5th was World Environment Day. This is an annual United Nations Day to globally promote the importance of tending our planet.  They have a long history of spreading the message that every little action adds up to create world-wide waves that lead to change.  This year's theme is "Raise Your Voice, Not the Sea Level."  Check out the link to learn more about World Environment Day 2014.
  • Friday, June 6th was our last day of school at Eagle Cove School--complete with 5th grade graduation.  Typically there is glee in the hearts of students, teachers, and maybe even parents to "bring on summer!"  Yet, this year was a tad different, because it was THE LAST DAY OF SCHOOL.  EVER!  The final graduation.  The end of an era.  The closing of a super, amazing, phenomenal environmental school. The Baltimore Sun wrote a very nice article about it Friday morning.   I've written about the upcoming closing many-a-times here.  The closing of a 58 year institution in our community...that time has finally arrived.  It was a beautiful day, which only added to the bittersweet-ness of the entire event.  We've had many special celebrations, both on a large & even small-scale family-front [we went canoeing off-shore of the school yesterday as a family].  We've had (& will have a few more) meals & gatherings as a staff, and a community gala event of alumni, board members, current and past families, friends, faculty, and students of the school.  The tears and tissues and memories have been many.  We will deeply miss this photogenic and authentic li'l Maryland "Green School" campus and community of ours.
  • Friday, June 6th also held another important environmental event.  Our Head of School, during the graduation ceremony, announced that yes, although our doors our closing, we not only received our 2nd four-year re-certification as a Maryland "Green School" this year, but we also were the recipients of another honor.  We also received the highest level--the international level--award issued from World Wildlife Fund/National Wildlife Federation's Eco-Schools.  62 other schools worldwide fly the flag that my "partner in green" and I are holding here.  It's definitely an odd sensation to be held in such environmental high esteem, yet to be a school that is ceasing to exist.  Such a high compliment to our program, our curriculum, and the entire culture of the school.  We could do all of that, yet despite all of that, the one thing we couldn't quite capture was financial sustainability to keep the school going forth.  Big sigh.  

As one of the graduating fifth graders wrote in his speech that he delivered on Friday:   "Do not cry for the loss, but smile because it happened." (Quote by Dr. Seuss.)  Thank you Eagle Cove School (formerly Gibson Island Country School) for happening, and for 7 amazing years of memories.  I will hold those memories of my students, my own children, and my crew of incredible ECS colleagues always dear to my heart.  May we all go forth to our new schools, spreading our wings like the eagles we're named after, and spreading what's in our hearts like 100 or so little "green" minions!  In many ways, it circles right back to the heart of the mission of World Environment Day.

World Environment Day Logo from

ECS School sign picture taken by Josh Hubbell

ECS Eco School Flag pic from my camera.

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