A New School Year and A Fresh Start: Convocation 2022

Jeannette Eckhardt

Convocation is a moment for us to gather as a community at the start of the year, to welcome our new students, faculty, and staff, and reaffirm the values we stand for and strive to live by. On September 16, Solebury School welcomed more than 90 new students to our corner of Phillips Mill and School Lane. This year, Cari Nelson P’24 was chosen to be the faculty speaker. Cari encouraged the community to be who they are, and choose how they would use the fresh start to make the most of the new school year.

I’m excited to talk to you for a few minutes today during our opening convocation. For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Cari. I am the head of the science department, and I am starting my 16th year at Solebury. You can find me in abbe 8 most of the time or in the abbe garden.

I have to tell you that I love the start of a new school year. I didn’t always work in schools and get to start fresh in September. It is such a relief that no matter what happens during the year, it will come to an end in June, and you get a fresh start in the fall!

As a teacher, I start thinking about the new term in June and what I can improve on, be more prepared for, or change the example that I gave in class. I have the ability to make changes and get closer to that ideal classroom. This is exciting! You as students also have that same fresh start at the beginning of the school year.

Here at Solebury, we encourage our students to try new things and academically challenge themselves. What a wonderful gift you have that in high school you can hit the refresh key. 

You can make the choice of how your year is going to go. The adults on campus can support you in multiple ways, but ultimately it is up to you what you do with this new start to the school year.

Maybe last year was a really good year for you—great! Now, what can you do to make it even better?

But, maybe last year was a bit rough, and you never got into a “school rhythm.” Now you have the chance to make it right. Maybe, you are new to our community and you’re trying to figure out what kind of student you want to be.

Enjoy yourself today during community day, but also take some time today and make a conscious decision about how your year is going to go. 

When you look at other students in your classes, or on your sports teams and they “have it together,” it is not by accident! They have thought about where they want to be, how they are going to overcome obstacles, and what they want to get out of school here at Solebury. 

So, take a few moments today and make a plan. How can you be your best self this year? I hope that everyone has a wonderful school year and you continue to work towards being your best self!

After Convocation concluded, students enjoyed house competitions, games, a barbeque hosted by the Dining Hall staff, and treats from an ice cream truck. Enjoy photos from the day below.