Remember the past with gratitude. Live the present with enthusiasm.
Look forward to the future with confidence.
~St. John Paul II
Endings often create an empty space–a space waiting to be filled with thoughts, emotions, and reflections. The contents of the space are shaped by past experiences, as well as the unique lens through which we look back upon these experiences. What reflections fill the space created by the conclusion of the past school year? Pride in our accomplishments? Joy for the completion of exams? Fear of the future? Excitement for the summer?
As Lasallian educators, Saint John Baptist de La Salle instructed us that “To touch the hearts of your students is the greatest miracle you can perform.” This simple instruction from Saint La Salle is one of the core values of Lasallian education and manifests itself through the actions of our faculty and staff members. Eric Little referenced such actions in his valedictory remarks when he highlighted faculty members such as Mrs. Sommers, who spends her planning periods and lunches conversing with her students–helping to guide them through life’s challenges. Or Mr. Calimlim, who attends nearly every student activity even through “scorching heat when even we [the students] don’t want to be there.”
Similar to Eric’s remarks, at the end of the year, students quite often express their gratefulness for the extra review class, kind note, encouraging words, or comforting smile that they received from their teachers–teachers who lived the words of de La Salle by striving to touch the hearts of their students. As an educator, the true beauty lies within the message that World Language teacher, Mrs. Cabal, sent to me shortly after the last day of classes:
As teachers, we enter the summer grateful for the students whose hearts we sought to touch, but quickly realized that they touched ours. As a whole community, we are grateful for all of the members of our CBA family that, similar to Mrs. Sommors and Mr. Calimlim, create the community of caring that exists at CBA. The Parents’ Club, coaching staff, Booster Club, Parents’ of Talented Teens and all of our other supporting groups and individuals create the atmosphere that is CBA Syracuse. As a Lasallian community, we fill the open space with a sense of gratitude for the people, experiences and achievements gifted to us through God this past year.
Grateful for the past, we continue with enthusiasm for the present. Learning has no start and end date and the summer recess offers each of us an opportunity to pursue other, less formal, methods of education. Junior Aiden Wheeler will be volunteering in a program called Cross Cultural Solutions, dedicating her summer to helping children in India learn English. Several students are engaged in internships, enrichment programs, volunteer opportunities, and athletic camps. We enter the summer trusting in the Confucian saying, “Wherever you go, go with all your heart.” In the life of de La Salle, faced with many Brothers leaving the Institute and schools continuously closing, de La Salle continued onward with faith and zeal. De La Salle’s enthusiasm for the present, despite great odds, began a ripple of schools that have intensified to a wave of influence on young people all around the world.
As we look towards the future, we have confidence that the values and skills developed through a Lasallian education will fortify our ability to face any new challenge. For some, it will be the challenges of moving into the 9th grade, for others, it may be the challenges associated with the college process. Most recently, our alumni have returned to visit their teachers during their summer recess. Conversations are highlighted by perfect grades–4.0 GPA’s at Colgate, Yale, William’s, Duke, and many other world renowned universities. More importantly, these young alumni reflect on the values cultivated by a Lasallian community. The future is in our current students who grow and learn with a sense of confidence that is instilled by a CBA education.
As the empty space created by the ending of the academic year begins to be filled with reflections on the lessons, knowledge, and experiences of this past year, may we enter the summer with a sense of gratefulness for all that has been accomplished, a continued enthusiasm for life, and a confidence that our faith, gifts and talents will help us overcome any obstacle.
God bless and have a wonderful summer!
Mr. Matthew Keough, Principal
“I truly believe we can either see the connections, celebrate them, and express gratitude for our blessings, or we can see life as a string of coincidences that have no meaning or connection. For me, I’m going to believe in miracles, celebrate life, rejoice in the views of eternity, and hope my choices will create a positive ripple effect in the lives of others. This is my choice.” ~Mike Ericksen