From the Desk of Dr. Lieber

 

As the school year comes to an end, we reflect back on the unique challenges that were presented to us during this unprecedented time. This 2020 school year is one that will always be remembered. It seems so long ago that we were sitting in a room talking about the possibility of making our school virtual. We contemplated the timing of each class and how we could best serve the needs of the students. All the teachers were forced to learn a whole new platform while also thinking about how COVID-19 could possibly affect them and their families. As we were finishing up Color War, I had to ask students to take all their books from their lockers, thinking it was just a precaution and that we would be back in school soon. At that point in mid-March I didn’t really believe that school and life as we knew it would be changed forever.

Yet, we embraced the change, adapted, and thrived. I am overcome with a feeling of gratitude for the staff at Hebrew Academy. They told me “we got this,” and they really did an incredible job. Whether they were veteran teachers set in their ways, or new teachers eager to try new things, everyone banded together and did everything they possibly could to help the students navigate a different way of learning. The students deserve credit as well. They were socially disconnected from friends and tasked to come out of their comfort zone, but they rose to each challenge. I am truly proud of each and every one of them. 

On a personal note, I have feelings of happiness to put this year behind me, but also sadness to end the year without physically seeing the students back in school. However, I’m optimistic for the future and looking forward to the new Freshman class entering our high school building. I’m also excited to see the remarkable crew that will be our newly appointed Senior class, as well as the 10th and 11th graders who I’ve watched mature and grow over Zoom. This past Sunday we were able to say goodbye to the Class of 2020. It was a magical evening filled with so much love and joy. The Senior class will forever be the Class of 2020 that had the most memorable and inspiring graduation during a time of so much uncertainty. The children that walked in as Freshman now walked a red carpet and crossed a stage as young adults, ready to take charge and make a difference in the world. We feel that we have done our job in educating them and giving them tools they can use for the rest of their lives.

Thank you again to the high school staff that has been my rock through a challenging year. They have shown me that there is no “I” in the team and that they are the best team I could have ever imagined. I feel fortunate to work beside them and cannot wait for the 2020-2021 school year. Lastly, to the students, thank you for stepping up and working hard until the very end. It has been my joy and privilege coming into your classrooms virtually and watching you in your classes. I have seen your work ethic and growth, even during these difficult times.

We can only now look ahead and hope for a future back on campus. We will embrace the new normal as we embraced this virtual platform, head on. We are one team and a winning one. Go Warriors. Have a great summer!