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On Graduation Day, By Chaim Heller, Head of School

Chaim final constant contactIn a few hours our seniors will enter the gym, wearing their caps and gowns, and will graduate from San Diego Jewish Academy. These students, the class of 2016, worked very hard to get to this moment and after the speeches, the awards, the tears and the music, they will be on their way. While their parents and SDJA’s teachers have supported them along the way, there were and are others, less visible, who helped them reach this moment. In the Jewish tradition of Hakarat Hatov, appreciating that which is good, I’d like to single out a few people who, without much fanfare, have made the SDJA experience what it is, for all of our classes.

Our PTO parents work so hard behind the scenes. Every holiday was possible, every celebration at school was special, all because our PTO parents gave up hours and hours of their free time to make it so. A very big Todah Rabah to our GMLS PTO chairs; Brooke Bassuk, Jodi Stone and Inbal Meyers, and our MUS PTO chair; Michelle Lyons, for all you and the PTOs did to make this year at SDJA so special.

Each division of our school has a person or two who handle all of the behind-the-scene details and are the ones who answer the telephone and know just how to get things done. Teshy Wellman in our ECC, Ricky Harel and Aimee Novum in the GMLS office and Katie Sharp and Emily Bumps in the MUS office have all been the smiling voices, answering questions, bringing lunches or otherwise making the school-home connection feel warmer and closer. And if anyone has called the 3700 number, you’ve undoubtedly enjoyed speaking with Paula Cox who has made courtesy and efficiency seem so effortless.

There are so many more people I could mention. The folks in the maintenance department seem to be everywhere at once, setting up, taking down, setting up again for every event in our very busy school. And they are always smiling and upbeat. The kitchen crew works crazy hours to prep for our kids and parents on a daily basis, and make it look easy. We take our bus drivers for granted, and they take our students everywhere safely, on time and with a minimum of drama. I could go on and on, and then I’d mention each of the faculty, the admin, the “A Building” people, our Board of Trustees, community supporters and I’d still have many more folks to mention. Each is worthy of our appreciation, and I hope you’ll take a moment to thank everyone you can this week. Saying “thank you” not only rewards the recipient but even more so the one saying it.

And, in this last issue of Kolot for the year, let me thank you, our parents, most of all. You have partnered with us and shared your stories and your hearts, supported our efforts to build a better school community and most importantly, you have lovingly shared the most precious thing you have in the world with us: Your children.

From all of us at the Academy, thank you.

Have a wonderful summer.


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